An advocacy group said Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson did the "bare minimum" to prevent absentee ballots from being sent late to Michiganders overseas and serving in the U.S. military.
Last week, Johnson and state Attorney General Bill Schuette sued 24 municipalities in county circuit courts seeking extensions for 38 of 8,700 of the absentee ballots to be counted under federal election law. The extensions, if granted, would be for the number of days the ballots were sent late.
The U.S. Military and Overseas Voter Empowerment Act, signed into law in 2009, requires absentee ballots be sent overseas and to military personnel 45 days prior to federal elections in order to counted on Election Day. The deadline for the Nov. 6 election was Sept. 22.
The Michigan Election Coalition accused Johnson of scolding local governments rather than taking action to help them despite a July U.S. Department of Justice complaint against the state for 155 absentee ballots from 70 municipalities sent late for the August primary.