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Election Law

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Miller Canfield's Election Law practice team has extensive experience representing public entities and individuals in all aspects of elections, campaign finance, initiatives and referendums, and election litigation. Our experience includes matters involving:

  • Statewide and local ballot question consultation and litigation
  • Redistricting Consultation
  • Candidate elections
  • Bond and millage elections
  • Board of State Canvassers proceedings
  • Amendments to city charters and the state constitution
  • Recounts
  • Recalls
  • Voting rights and voter suppression
  • Use of public facilities, funds and resources for or against ballot proposals or candidates
  • Campaign finance compliance under both state and federal statutes and regulations
  • Represented Biden for President Committee, the Democratic National Committee and the Michigan Democratic Party in all 2020 post-election litigation in state and federal courts in Michigan.
  • Obtained a preliminary and permanent injunction against the State of Michigan’s enforcement of a recent change to the Michigan Campaign Finance Act, which was amended to prohibit public bodies or their agents from referencing local ballot questions during the 60-day period leading up to a local election. The federal district court agreed that the legislation violates the U.S. constitution.
  • Represented parties in objections to the Michigan Board of State Canvassers on various election-related ballot initiatives.
  • Defended constitutional challenges to state and local government COVID-19 mandates.
  • Represented ballot question committee in successful statewide ballot referendum to overturn state law, and successfully challenged subsequent legislative efforts as unconstitutional in state appellate courts.
  • Represented the Brennan Center for Justice as amicus curiae against the challenge to Secretary of State Benson's right to mail absentee ballot applications to all Michigan voters in 2020 election.
  • Successfully defended city clerk in litigation seeking to compel clerk to certify ballot question petition relating to adult-use marijuana establishments, obtaining order dismissing complaint on grounds that petition exceeded the initiatory power granted by statute and petition size requirements of Michigan Election Law.
  • Successfully defended city clerk in litigation seeking to compel clerk to certify ballot question petition, obtaining order dismissing complaint on grounds of insufficient signatures and failure to comply with petition size requirements of Michigan Election Law.
  • Successfully defended county clerk in litigation seeking to enjoin election on ballot question opting municipality out of adult-use marijuana market and obtain order denying injunctive relief.
  • Successfully defended a Michigan District Judge's right to retain her "incumbent" status on the primary election ballot.
  • Represented a client charged with violation of federal election laws, resulting in a not guilty verdict on all counts at trial.
  • Led a nationwide effort to coordinate state-specific poll worker guides on behalf of The Brennan Center for Justice, Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights and Association of Pro Bono Counsel. Project focused on encouraging qualified candidates to apply for the critical job of serving as poll workers on Election Day, and provided information on application, scope of duties, and high priority state-specific issues.