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Lawsuit challenges mask, distance rules for poll workers

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 filed with the Michigan Court of Claims 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,” he said.

But a Benson spokesperson said her directive still allows poll volunteers representing a political party to

“The lawsuit is really nothing more than an effort to gain media attention and falsely attack the integrity of Michigan’s elections,” said Jake Rollow.

The case has been assigned to Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephans, who’s been dealing with much of the cyclone of high-stakes litigation with the approach of Election Day next week.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.