Mich. Sec of State keeping citizen check-off box

Voting rights advocates concerned with citizenship box

Published On: Sep 08 2012 07:07:32 AM EDT
DETROIT -

Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson vows a check-off box asking voters to confirm their U.S. citizenship will once again appear on November ballot applications.

Her plan comes as concerns grow among voting rights advocates. They argue it's unnecessary, intimidating and could suppress voting.

Johnson defends her decision to keep the box she ordered in the February and August primary elections as a legal and appropriate extra step to ensure only citizens participate in elections.

Secretary of State officials say Johnson is pressing forward after a coalition led by the nonpartisan Michigan Election Coalition sent her a letter urging her to "immediately halt" using the citizenship check-off.

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder recently vetoed a bill that included a requirement for voters to check a similar citizenship box.