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Lawsuit filed over mask, distance rules for poll challengers

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Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

A lawsuit is challenging the rules ordered by Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson for partisan poll challengers on Election Day.

The complaint says distancing and face covering directives will make it too difficult for poll challengers to see what’s going on as voters are checked in at voting sites.

Matthew Gronda is an attorney representing a Republican state House candidate and an Election Day volunteer.

“They’re concerned, rightfully so, that recent restrictions that were put in place in regard to COVID and poll site safety, are not going to allow election challengers to perform their duties,” says Gronda.

Jake Rollow is the Secretary of State’s spokesperson. He says the lawsuit appears to be an effort to call into question the fairness of the elections.

And he says the complaint misrepresents the rules.

“The guidance issued by the Bureau of Elections allows challengers to temporarily stand within six feet of election workers to issue challenges and to read the pollbook. Michigan elections are being conducted fairly and with integrity,” says Rollow.

The lawsuit was filed by a Republican state House candidate and an election volunteer for the August primary. 

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Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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