What if you showed up to work every day and did your job, then attended political party meetings where you bragged about intentionally sabotaging your job performance in order to advance a political goal? 

That might sound outrageous, but that is exactly the strategy being employed by Michigan’s Republican Secretary of State Ruth Johnson as she attempts to pass her so-called “Secure and Fair Elections” legislative package, which would make it harder for thousands of Michiganders to vote.

Let’s back up. Last week a widely-circulated report showed that about 1,500 votes in recent years were cast by dead people and prisoners. The Secretary of State’s office issued a firm response, saying that

“every example cited in a new report by Auditor General Thomas McTavish involved clerks accidentally crossing incorrect names off voter lists, and not one example was the result of someone voting using another person’s identity.” (emphasis mine)

As part of her attempt to prevent the voter fraud she (sometimes) claims is a huge problem, Secretary Johnson has been purging thousands of names from voter lists. We can only hope that none are accidentally crossed off, resulting in the appearance of fraud where there is really nothing but state negligence.

But just three days after saying “not one example was the result of someone voting using another person’s identity,” Secretary Johnson attended the Michigan Republican Party convention in Detroit, where she warned attendees that

“1,500 dead voters and inmates voted in MI in the last three years.”

At this point, nothing Ruth Johnson does should be surprising. But this is simply craven partisanship of the worst kind. The fact that Secretary Johnson is showing up to Republican Party events and lying about the justification for her legislation, when she won’t even testify before a committee on the bills, is all you really need to know about these unnecessary and burdensome restrictions.

Check out the video of Secretary Johnson speaking at the Republican convention:

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