91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Michigan will ask for immigration records as part of purge of voter rolls

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan’s Secretary of State will soon ask again for access to immigration records.

The intent is to find non-American citizens who may have “inadvertently” registered to vote in Michigan.

For years, a person applying for a driver’s license in Michigan would also be encouraged to register to vote, without a check first to see if the person was actually a U-S citizen.

“We believe there are people who inadvertently signed up to vote …when they shouldn’t have,” says Gisgie Davila Gendreau, spokeswoman for Michigan’s Secretary of State’s office.

Its unclear how many non-citizens signed up to vote in that way.

Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson has asked the federal government for the immigration records before, but was denied.

However last week, the Department of Homeland Security granted a similar request from Florida officials.  Michigan is among 11 other states asking for similar access.

Gendreau says the review process will be handled carefully, once the state has access to the records.

“It will be a process that is …vertifying…because we want to make sure no one is disenfranchised ,” says Gendreau.

Gendreau says its unclear if the review process can be completed before November’s general election.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.