Michigan Flint Election Inspectors Challenge
Michigan Republican Party v. Donahue
Lawsuit filed by the Michigan Republican Party and Republican National Committee against multiple members of the City of Flint Board of Election Commissioners alleging that Flint has a shortage of Republican election inspectors (Michigan’s term for poll workers). The Republican plaintiffs argue that the defendants are violating Michigan law, which mandates that each election board “shall appoint an equal number, as nearly as possible, of election inspectors in each election precinct from each major political party.” They specifically claim that the city only hired 120 Republican election inspectors, but hired 562 Democratic election inspectors for the upcoming November election and therefore contend that the “[b]oard has failed to satisfy its clear legal duty to appoint an equal number of election inspectors from each major political party to each election precinct and each absent voter counting board.” The plaintiffs ask the court to issue a writ of mandamus (a court order compelling a party to take a specific action) to order the City of Flint Board of Election Commissioners to comply with its “legal duty to appoint an equal number of election inspectors from each major political party” by: 1) “Reallocating no fewer than 20 Republican election inspectors from precinct polling places to the City’s” Absent Voter Counting Boards; 2) “Reallocating no fewer than 25 Republican election inspectors as Chairpersons;” 3) Taking affirmative actions to recruit additional Republican election inspectors and 4) “Assisting each prospective Republican election inspector that contacts the City to inquire about serving in that role in a manner consistent with this Board’s ongoing duty under [Michigan law], rather than turning those individuals away.”
On Nov. 2, a judged ruled from the bench and dismissed the lawsuit, concluding that the plaintiffs lacked standing (meaning capacity to sue).