Oakland County voter surprised to find citizenship checkbox on ballot application

Nov 6, 2012

Michigan Radio has received word that in at least one polling location voters encountered the controversial citizenship checkbox on ballot applications.

Oakland County resident Spencer Howell said that he was surprised to see the question when he went to cast his vote at Holly High School.

Howell knew of the controversy surrounding the checkbox and had a difficult time deciding whether or not to answer the question.

He decided to answer, but still thinks the question is inappropriate.

"As a 3rd generation immigrant, I still feel in touch with the pride my Grandfather had voting for the first time as a Cuban-American citizen and my Great-Grandmother who arrived at Ellis Island by herself as a 4-yr-old from Italy," Howell wrote in an email to Michigan Radio.

"Although they were strong and outspoken and would never have been intimidated by checking a box, there are those that don't fully understand what the box means or why it's there and how it applies to them (including the volunteers at the voting station)."

"That's why it was declared unconstitutional so I'm anxious to hear an explanation as to why it was there today."

Holly Township Clerk Karin Winchester said she was not aware that the checkbox was on the applications, but had she known, would have switched them out.

She said the applications were delivered by county officials sometime within the last month.

Use our Public Insight Network to tell us if you saw a citizenship question on your ballot application or just to tell us about your Election Day experience.

- Jordan Wyant, Michigan Radio Newsroom