As I campaign throughout Michigan, one of the most common complaints I hear from residents is about illegal voting registration occurring across the state. People tell me all kinds of stories of how they received ballots or ballot applications that should have never come through. The number of residents who have discussed this issue with me is concerning.
Iâ€™ve heard people complain about receiving ballots at their homes for former residents who havenâ€™t lived in the house for over 25 years. One manâ€™s wife received an absentee ballot application despite not being a U.S. citizen. Another manâ€™s sister-in-law received an absentee ballot application for his wife under her maidan name, and they had been married for over 20 years. How can a woman be registered to vote at an address where she has never lived â€” and in her maiden name?
The examples go on and on. Peopleâ€™s stories expose a very sinister reality â€“ that Michiganâ€™s voter registration database is intentionally corrupt. Ongoing litigation has revealed that Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has not been accurately maintaining the voter rolls (by failing to remove deceased voters, for example), is stone-walling citizen oversight of her maintenance procedures, and is simply issuing false proclamations that she is following the law. A March 2022 report released by the Michigan Auditor General found that Benson was not reconciling the voter registration database with the driverâ€™s license file, which she is required by law to do.
People should not be able to cast ballots unless they are registered to vote. Registration is required so election officials can ensure that the person is legally qualified to vote, that the person casting the ballot is actually the individual legally qualified, and that the person can only vote once. Illegal ballots need either a fraudulent registration or an individual engaged in identity theft by voting under another personâ€™s name.
Voting under another personâ€™s name is risky unless the thief knows certain information regarding the victim, such as that the voter is incapacitated, that ensures them the voter wonâ€™t try to vote. However, there are multiple reports of people going to the polls only to be informed that they already voted absentee.
Demanding accurate voter rolls is not partisan. It is about protecting our voting rights, which consist of three elements: ballot access, ballot security, and illegal ballot prevention. Every illegal vote nullifies a legal vote. Corruption in our election system is a national security threat because voting is the only way that we, the people, maintain control over our government.
Elections can quickly change the direction of a nation. Why wouldnâ€™t enemies, foreign or domestic, want to exploit vulnerabilities and corruption in our election system? By corrupting elections, a nation could overthrow their enemy without firing a single shot. Protecting our voting rights by purging the corruption from our elections is a matter of national survival.
Kristina Karamo is the Republican nominee running to become Michiganâ€™s next Secretary of State. She currently serves as a professor of Public Speaking and College Orientation at Wayne County Community College and is a stalwart advocate for election integrity.