Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is secretly attempting to circumvent Michigan’s absentee voting safeguards, according to a lawsuit filed by the Republican National Committee this week.

“Michigan’s state constitution is very clear: election officials have to verify the identity of voters casting absentee ballots,” RNC Chairman Michael Whatley said. “Jocelyn Benson is yet again working to undermine election integrity by secretly instructing officials to disregard and circumvent these clear requirements.

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“The RNC is suing Benson because Michiganders deserve election integrity, not underhanded Democrat schemes,” he said.

The lawsuit, filed in the Michigan Court of Claims, contends Benson, a Democrat, and Director of Elections Jonathan Brater “covertly issued a publication entitled ‘Signature Verification, Voter Notification and Signature Cure’ that directs local election officials to apply a standard to the signature verification process that is inconsistent with” the constitution and state law.

“While the Michigan Constitution expressly mandates that election officials ‘verify the identity’ of any voter who applies for an absent voter ballot or who votes an absent voter ballot other than in person by completing the signature comparison scheme … the Secretary has instructed local election officials to apply a ‘presumption of validity’ to those signatures,” according to the lawsuit.

“This new rule, however, is directly inconsistent with the plain language of the Michigan Constitution and Michigan Election Law.”

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The lawsuit outlines Benson’s prior attempts to instruct election officials an presuming the validity of signatures, and court rulings in favor of Michigan Republican Party three years ago that the instructions were against the law.

“The Secretary’s instructions are unlawful now for the same reason they were unlawful three years ago: they were not adopted in accordance with Michigan’s Administrative Procedure Act,” according to an RNC statement.

“Requiring election officials to approve signatures with discrepancies based on mere speculation is completely inconsistent with the Michigan Constitution and the Michigan Election Law, both of which mandate that election officials verify the identity of absent voters through the … signature verification process,” the lawsuit reads.

The RNC notes that Benson’s rule to presume signature validity applied during the Feb. 27 presidential primary that involved at least 934,000 absent voter ballots, and it would remain in effect during the August primary and November general elections if the court does not intervene.

The RNC wants the court to hold an expedited hearing and find Benson’s presumption of validity rule unenforceable, and to rule that it violates the Administrative Procedures Act. The RNC is also asking the court to find the rule inconsistent with the state constitution and election law, and to order Benson to develop a new rule that would require local election officials to verify the identity of voters.

“Time remains to adjudicate this case and controversy on the merits in an expedited fashion prior to the August 6, 2024 primary election and the November 5, 2024 general election, and without the need for temporary or preliminary injunctive relief,” according to the lawsuit.

“When the Michigan Constitution and Michigan Election Law expressly mandate that election officials verify the identity of absent voters through a signature comparison process, the Secretary is not authorized to change that standard to something less than verification, be it through a presumption of validity or otherwise.”

The lawsuit follows another filed by the RNC against Benson earlier this month that aims to force the secretary of state to clean up the state’s bloated voter registration rolls. That lawsuit notes there’s more registered voters in Michigan than legal voters, with 76 of 83 counties in the swing state with inflated voter rolls, Just the News reports.