Michigan Secretary of State will not appeal citizenship checkbox ruling

Oct 10, 2012

Update 4:19 p.m.

There will be no citizenship checkbox on ballot applications for Michigan voters this November.

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson said she won’t challenge a federal judge’s ruling that the citizenship question is unconstitutional because the election is getting so close.

She did say there could be further legal action after the election.

Johnson says she also intends to press the federal government for naturalization records that would help her clear voter rolls of non-citizens.

“We would just like their help to make sure the non-citizens are taken off, but they’ve refused to help us in any way, so I will continue to push the federal government to get the non-citizens off the rolls," said Johnson.

Johnson ordered the check box for people to affirm their U.S. citizenship on ballot applications even after Governor Rick Snyder vetoed a bill to require it.

1:07 p.m.

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson's office says she will not appeal a judge's preliminary ruling that a citizenship question cannot appear on applications to cast a ballot in this year's election.

The judge issued his preliminary ruling last Friday.

Johnson told Michigan Radio late last month that she added the checkbox to make sure non-citizens who were unaware of our election laws knew they were not allowed to vote.

"We do not believe that this is some kind effort that has been organized to have non-citizens vote. So, most people are going to react to the honor system and do the right thing, once they know it’s a felony," Johnson said.

More from MLive:

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson will not file an emergency appeal of a ruling that blocks her from requiring a citizenship question on ballot applications.

That means for the Nov. 6 election, at least, opponents of the citizenship check box have prevailed.

"The secretary has indicated that she will not pursue an emergency appeal because we are so close to the election," Johnson spokesman Fred Woodhams said in an email late Tuesday.