City Of Detroit Sued Over 2.5K Dead People On Voter Rolls

City Of Detroit Sued Over 2.5K Dead People On Voter Rolls


A lawsuit has just been filed against Detroit, MI – a Democrat-run city – alleging that there are currently over 2,500 dead resident listed on voting rolls.

The suit was filed by the Public Interest Legal Foundation against the city of Detroit for failure to clean their voter rolls.

To add to the reason Detroit is being sued for this, over 16,000 voter registrations do not properly record the date of registry and almost 5,000 are flagged for possibly being a duplicate of another registration.

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Take a look at the breaking news that hit Twitter:

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Detroit Free Press has more details on the lawsuit:

A public interest group has sued the city of Detroit in federal court, claiming it has thousands of dead people on its voter lists and even more duplicate names of registered voters — problems the group fears could lead to voter fraud in the upcoming presidential election.

The lawsuit, however, does not claim that someone living ever actually tried to vote as a deceased voter in Detroit.  Nor does it allege that any voter fraud has actually occurred in Detroit, a majority-black Democratic stronghold that played pivotal roles in the last two elections, one way or another, and is expected to do so again in 2020.

The lawsuit cites the 2016 election, but it raises no issues of actual fraud. Rather, it claims that the city isn't properly cleaning its voter registration records, as required by law, but instead allows the rolls to be replete with typos, dead people, duplicate registrations and mistakes about gender and birth: One Detroit voter is listed as being born in 1823 —14 years before Michigan was annexed into the Union.

The lawsuit was filed by the Indianapolis-based Public Interest Legal Foundation, which calls itself a nonpartisan group but is known for championing conservative causes, filing voter-fraud lawsuits and promoting purges that critics say would remove eligible voters from the rolls. In 2017, the group published a report called “Alien Invasion,” claiming 5,000-plus noncitizens were registered to vote in Virginia, and that about 1,800 of them had cast ballots at some point. Virginia election officials, voters and academic experts disputed the findings.  

The group's president is Christian Adams, a member of President Donald Trump's election integrity commission who has spent years fighting to clean up voter rolls in what critics and election officials have said harms minority communities.

This week, Adam's focus turned to Detroit.

According to his group's lawsuit, here are some of the alleged mistakes found on Detroit's voter rolls, as flagged by the Public Interest Legal Foundation:

  • Detroit has 2,503 dead people on its voter rolls. They are listed as 85-plus-year-olds.
  • Detroit has 4,788 voters that were flagged for duplicate, triplicate concerns.
  • Detroit has 511,786 registered voters, but only 479,267 adults designated as eligible to vote. That means it has more registered voters than citizens of voting age.
  •  16,465 registered voters in Detroit were missing actual dates of registration.

“The city government’s nonchalant attitude toward addressing evidence of dead and duplicate registrations exposes yet another vulnerability in our voting systems as our nation works to improve election security before November 2020," Adams said in a statement.

He added: "Making a federal case out of this was necessary, and I hope we can achieve a resolution before the polls open.”

City officials were not readily available for comment. The lawsuit names Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey and Director of Elections George Azzouz as defendants. As of noon Wednesday, neither were available for comment.

Detroit News also said:

An advocacy group is suing Detroit election officials, claiming they violated the National Voter Registration Act by failing to properly maintain city voting rolls, including listing long-dead residents and keeping multiple registrations for the same people. 

The "failure" to comply with federal voter registration laws "undermined the confidence of Detroit’s properly registered voters in the integrity of the voter registration rolls and, accordingly, has undermined the integrity of elections held both within the city of Detroit and across the state of Michigan," the complaint contends. 


The Public Interest Legal Foundation filed the suit Tuesday in U.S. District Court, targeting Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey and elections director George Azzouz.

The nonpartisan, Indiana-based nonprofit filed the lawsuit after spending more than two years seeking to resolve Detroit's voting record issues. The foundation said it attempted “to cure problems” with the voter roll maintenance practices when it first requested records on Oct. 3, 2017.

Ultimately, it purchased the state’s entire voter roll on April 1 and analyzed Detroit's voter registration list. Multiple efforts have since been made to have Detroit's discrepancies corrected, but the alleged errors were "brushed aside," said Logan Churchwell, communications and research director for the group. 

"Someone dropped the ball, and they keep dropping it," Churchwell said. "All you need is a little bit of chaos to spread distrust."

Duggan administration spokesman John Roach in an email Wednesday referred questions to Winfrey. The city's Law Department, he added, has not seen the lawsuit, nor has it been asked by the clerk to represent her office on the complaint. 

Reached Wednesday, Winfrey did not immediately comment on the filing. Azzouz did not return a message left by The News. 

The city had 511,786 registered voters as of the 2016 general election, according to Detroit election data, while the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey that year estimated Detroit only had 479,267 voting-age residents, the lawsuit said.

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