Flint, Mich. Clerk Resigns After Elections Group Calls Out Lopsided Number Of Democrat Poll Watchers

Flint, Mich. Clerk Resigns After Elections Group Calls Out Lopsided Number Of Democrat Poll Watchers

Flint, Michigan’s longtime city clerk is retiring after an election integrity group sent a letter to her office demanding she balance out the number of Democrat and Republican election inspectors. 

On Sept. 6, Pure Integrity Michigan Elections (PIME) and attorney Erick Kaardal of the Thomas More Society sent a demand letter to Flint and City Clerk Inez Brown threatening legal action if they do not balance out the number of partisan poll watchers before the November general election. As previously reported, during Flint’s Aug. 2 primary, the city hired 422 Democrats compared to just 27 Republican election inspectors — in direct violation of a Michigan state statute that requires equal representation of party election inspectors. 

On Sept. 8, Brown, after serving as Flint’s city clerk for 25 years, abruptly announced her resignation effective Sept. 30 — roughly one month before the November election. Brown gave no reason for her resignation and caught city officials by surprise.

“My administrative office was taken by surprise,” Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley told the Flint Beat. “I had no foreknowledge of this occurring this soon.” Because of Brown’s resignation, Neeley reached out to Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s office for help running the city’s elections. Benson is up for re-election this year, raising questions about the ethics of her involvement in Flint’s elections.

“Can her office be considered impartial in running the elections in Flint?” Patrice Johnson, chair of PIME told The Federalist. “The law states that if you are running for office, you cannot be an election inspector in the precinct in which you’re running.” 

Despite such questions, Johnson sees Brown’s resignation as a step in the right direction. Brown’s tenure as Flint city clerk has led to multiple controversies, including giving mayoral candidates the wrong filing deadline in 2015 and alleged failure to process absentee ballots

“The pressure we’ve put on the city led to this,” Johnson said. “This is a HUGE win.” 

Regardless of Brown’s resignation, Johnson expects Flint to fully comply with PIME’s demand letter and balance its number of partisan election inspectors in time for the November election.

“In a state with more than 7 million registered voters, and where an election inspector need not live in the precinct in which they work, there is no excuse for an unhealthy imbalance of workers at our township and municipal elections,” she said.


Victoria Marshall is a staff writer at The Federalist. Her writing has been featured in the New York Post, National Review, and Townhall. She graduated from Hillsdale College in May 2021 with a major in politics and a minor in journalism. Follow her on Twitter @vemrshll.

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Flint, Mich. Clerk Resigns After Elections Group Calls Out Lopsided Number Of Democrat Poll Watchers

Flint, Mich. Clerk Resigns After Elections Group Calls Out Lopsided Number Of Democrat Poll Watchers

Flint, Michigan’s longtime city clerk is retiring after an election integrity group sent a letter to her office demanding she balance out the number of Democrat and Republican election inspectors. 

On Sept. 6, Pure Integrity Michigan Elections (PIME) and attorney Erick Kaardal of the Thomas More Society sent a demand letter to Flint and City Clerk Inez Brown threatening legal action if they do not balance out the number of partisan poll watchers before the November general election. As previously reported, during Flint’s Aug. 2 primary, the city hired 422 Democrats compared to just 27 Republican election inspectors — in direct violation of a Michigan state statute that requires equal representation of party election inspectors. 

On Sept. 8, Brown, after serving as Flint’s city clerk for 25 years, abruptly announced her resignation effective Sept. 30 — roughly one month before the November election. Brown gave no reason for her resignation and caught city officials by surprise.

“My administrative office was taken by surprise,” Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley told the Flint Beat. “I had no foreknowledge of this occurring this soon.” Because of Brown’s resignation, Neeley reached out to Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s office for help running the city’s elections. Benson is up for re-election this year, raising questions about the ethics of her involvement in Flint’s elections.

“Can her office be considered impartial in running the elections in Flint?” Patrice Johnson, chair of PIME told The Federalist. “The law states that if you are running for office, you cannot be an election inspector in the precinct in which you’re running.” 

Despite such questions, Johnson sees Brown’s resignation as a step in the right direction. Brown’s tenure as Flint city clerk has led to multiple controversies, including giving mayoral candidates the wrong filing deadline in 2015 and alleged failure to process absentee ballots

“The pressure we’ve put on the city led to this,” Johnson said. “This is a HUGE win.” 

Regardless of Brown’s resignation, Johnson expects Flint to fully comply with PIME’s demand letter and balance its number of partisan election inspectors in time for the November election.

“In a state with more than 7 million registered voters, and where an election inspector need not live in the precinct in which they work, there is no excuse for an unhealthy imbalance of workers at our township and municipal elections,” she said.


Victoria Marshall is a staff writer at The Federalist. Her writing has been featured in the New York Post, National Review, and Townhall. She graduated from Hillsdale College in May 2021 with a major in politics and a minor in journalism. Follow her on Twitter @vemrshll.

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Complaint: Michigan Secretary Of State Broke Law By Outsourcing Voter Roll Cleanup To Left-Wing Group

Complaint: Michigan Secretary Of State Broke Law By Outsourcing Voter Roll Cleanup To Left-Wing Group

The Thomas More Society has filed a complaint with Michigan’s Bureau of Elections against Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson for violating federal law in contracting with the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC) to clean her state’s voter rolls.

The complaint — filed on behalf of Pure Integrity Michigan Elections — argues that Benson violated the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) by giving ERIC access to Michigan’s Qualified Voter File, a secure voter list used by the bureau of elections and more than 1,500 election clerks. HAVA requires each secretary of state to maintain and clean voter rolls without outside assistance. 

“Under the Help America Vote Act, maintaining state voter registration is seen as such a core governmental purpose that Congress deemed that it cannot be delegated to any other organization, including Electronic Registration Information Center,” Thomas More Society Special Counsel Erick Kaardal said in a press release. “The Help America Vote Act requires the Michigan secretary of state fulfill her constitutional duty and maintain the Qualified Voter File by herself, even if she does so badly.”

HAVA does not allow states to share voter data with third parties, but Benson’s agreement with ERIC requires her to do so. 

“Under Michigan’s current agreement with Electronic Registration Information Center, the secretary of state must transmit all voter data to the center, as well as licensing and identification records from the motor vehicle department,” Kaardal explained. “That clearly violates the Help America Vote Act and should be ceased immediately.”

As previously reported, ERIC is an interstate voter-roll management system run by Democratic operatives. It was sold to states as an easy solution to clean their voter rolls, but inflates them instead, thereby driving Democrat voter turnout. Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia are listed as members of ERIC. Louisiana recently announced its withdrawal from the agreement. 

A March 2022 audit by Michigan’s auditor general found that the state’s bureau of elections had failed to clean its voter rolls, despite being a member of ERIC since 2019. 

Benson has also been under scrutiny. In June 2020, the Michigan Freedom Fund sued Benson and 16 county clerks for neglecting to maintain Michigan’s voter rolls. In September 2020, Benson padded Michigan’s voter rolls herself by sending out automatic voter registration forms to all eligible citizens. As a result of the mailer, 114,000 people were added to the rolls. Most recently, Benson tried to dismiss a lawsuit removing 26,000 dead registrants from Michigan’s voter rolls.


Victoria Marshall is a staff writer at The Federalist. Her writing has been featured in the New York Post, National Review, and Townhall. She graduated from Hillsdale College in May 2021 with a major in politics and a minor in journalism. Follow her on Twitter @vemrshll.

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Michiganders Blast Secretary Of State Who Claims Her Hands Are Clean In 2020 Election-Funding Scheme

Michiganders Blast Secretary Of State Who Claims Her Hands Are Clean In 2020 Election-Funding Scheme

Michigan voters are calling out Democrat Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson over her claims that she bears no responsibility for a private funding operation that affected election processes leading up to the 2020 general election.

As part of a lawsuit brought by the Thomas More Society on behalf of Michigan voters, the reply brief filed on Aug. 30 addressed Benson’s claims that she is not personally responsible for allowing millions of dollars worth of private grants to flood the state during the 2020 election cycle “because ‘she did not personally hand out the money’ and that the courts have no authority to review her failure to follow Michigan law because the election scheme occurred in the 2020 general election.”

“Secretary Benson is wrong,” said Thomas More Society Special Counsel Thor Hearne. “This lawsuit does not seek to relitigate the results of the 2020 general election. Rather, it is about how future Michigan elections are conducted and Secretary Benson’s responsibility to conduct elections according to Michigan’s Constitution and Election Code so that every Michigan voter has equal access to the ballot.”

Hearne also went on to debunk Benson’s claims that even if such a “private funding scheme is contrary to Michigan’s Constitution and Election Code, she is not responsible and, Michigan voters lack any judicial remedy to hold her accountable.”

Benson does not deny that “she is responsible for supervising Michigan elections and directing how Michigan — and other — election officials conduct the election,” Hearne said. “Nor does she deny that she was fully aware of and supported this private funding scheme. Secretary Benson is asking the court to overlook her responsibility and hold that, because she did not personally pay the money to election officials, she bears no responsibility.”

The lawsuit against Benson was originally filed by the Thomas More Society back in October 2020 in the Michigan Court of Claims over the state’s 2020 use of grants from the left-wing Center for Tech and Civic Life (CTCL), with the legal group alleging that the bid to utilize private grants in the conduction of an election “was intended to influence the election results and den[y] Michigan voters’ right of equal access to the ballot.”

The complaint also argues that “several Michigan election laws were violated when Secretary Benson allowed the use of illegal drop boxes, permitted illegal acquisition of ballot containers that facilitated ballot harvesting, and allowed election authorities to spend public funds for private purposes.”

Given upwards of $400 million by Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, CTCL was instrumental in quietly altering state and local election processes in the lead-up to the 2020 election. In Michigan alone, the group distributed “135 grants above the $5,000 minimum,” resulting in $16.8 million “Zuckbucks” being poured into localities across the state.

“Out of these grants just 45 of the recipient localities were won by Trump, while 90 were won by Biden. Together these 90 municipalities received $14.6 million or 86 percent of all CTCL funds in Michigan,” a Capital Research Center report found. “Meanwhile, Trump won municipalities overwhelmingly received CTCL’s minimum $5,000 grant, though some received even less.”

As detailed by Federalist Editor-in-Chief Mollie Hemingway in her New York Times bestselling book, “Rigged: How the Media, Big Tech, and the Democrats Seized Our Elections,” Zuckerberg’s financing of “liberal groups running partisan get-out-the-vote operations” such as CTCL and the Center for Election Innovation and Research (CEIR) was ultimately “the means by which [Democrat] activists achieved their ‘revolution’ and changed the course of the 2020 election.”

“It was a genius plan,” wrote Hemingway. “And because no one ever imagined that a coordinated operation could pull off the privatization of the election system, laws were not built to combat it.”

Federalist Contributor William Doyle further expanded upon the effects of CTCL and CEIR’s election funding last year, writing that the groups’ efforts “had nothing to do with traditional campaign finance,” but everything to do “with financing the infiltration of election offices at the city and county level by left-wing activists, and using those offices as a platform to implement preferred administrative practices, voting methods, and data-sharing agreements, as well as to launch intensive outreach campaigns in areas heavy with Democratic voters.”

“CTCL demanded the promotion of universal mail-in voting through suspending election laws, extending deadlines that favored mail-in over in-person voting, greatly expanding opportunities for ‘ballot curing,’ expensive bulk mailings, and other lavish ‘community outreach’ programs that were directed by private activists,” Doyle wrote.

As of September 2022, 24 states and five counties have passed laws banning or restricting public officials’ use of “Zuckbucks” and other private funds when conducting elections.


Shawn Fleetwood is a Staff Writer for The Federalist and a graduate of the University of Mary Washington. He also serves as a state content writer for Convention of States Action and his work has been featured in numerous outlets, including RealClearPolitics, RealClearHealth, and Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @ShawnFleetwood

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Judge Denies Michigan Secretary of State’s Motion To Dismiss Lawsuit Removing 26,000 Dead Registrants From Voter Rolls

In a win for election integrity advocates, the United States Western District Court of Michigan denied Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s attempt at dismissing Public Interest Legal Foundation’s (PILF) lawsuit pertaining to the failure to remove dead registrants from the state’s voter rolls. The court also dismissed motions to intervene from leftist groups, such as the A. Philip Randolph Institute, the Michigan Alliance for Retired Americans, and Rise, Inc.

In 2020, PILF had notified the Secretary of State’s office about dead registrants remaining on Michigan’s voter rolls, but Benson did nothing about it. In November 2021, the nonprofit filed a lawsuit against Benson for her failure to remove 25,975 deceased registrants from voter lists.

According to PILF’s own analysis of the 25,975 deceased registrants:

  • 23,663 registrants have been dead for five years or more
  • 17,479 registrants have been dead for at least a decade
  • 3,956 registrants have been dead for at least 20 years

PILF’s lawsuit contends that by refusing to clean Michigan’s voter rolls, Benson violated Section 8 of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993, which requires officials to “conduct a general program that makes a reasonable effort to remove the names of ineligible voters from the official lists of eligible voters.” 

Michigan is also a member of ERIC, a voter-roll maintenance organization that ostensibly cleans state voter rolls — meaning the deceased registrants should have been removed long ago.

“We should not have to sue Secretary of State Benson to get her to do her job,” PILF spokeswoman Lauren Bowman told The Federalist. 

This isn’t the first time Benson’s been criticized for her job performance. Back in June 2020, the Michigan Freedom Fund sued Benson and 16 other county clerks for neglecting to maintain accurate voter records. Benson is also known for inflating Michigan’s voter rolls: in September 2020, she sent out automatic voter registration forms to all eligible citizens. As a result of the mailer, 114,000 people were added to Michigan’s voter rolls.

“It is astonishing that Secretary Benson is so vigorously opposing effective list maintenance,” PILF President Christian Adams said in a press release regarding the lawsuit. “It’s remarkable that after sharing this data with the Secretary of State in 2020, dead registrants remained on the state’s voter rolls. This initial win is the first step to ensuring that deceased registrants are not receiving ballots and reducing the opportunity for fraud in Michigan’s elections.”

Last year, the Foundation won a similar lawsuit against Pennsylvania, which compelled the Commonwealth to remove at least 21,000 dead registrants from its voter rolls.


Victoria Marshall is a staff writer at The Federalist. Her writing has been featured in the New York Post, National Review, and Townhall. She graduated from Hillsdale College in May 2021 with a major in politics and a minor in journalism. Follow her on Twitter @vemrshll.

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