© 2024 WEMU
Serving Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County, MI
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
School Closing Information

Michigan Supreme Court will decide whether election robocalls can be threats

No robocalls.
Shutterstock
/
shutterstock.com
No robocalls.

The Michigan Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case that will decide whether election misinformation can amount to illegal voter intimidation.

Two conservative political activists, John Burkman and Jacob Wohl, are challenging criminal charges that they used intimidating tactics to deter or discourage Detroit voters from using mail-in ballots in the 2020 election. The robo-calls falsely warned voters that using information gleaned from their use of absentee ballots could be used for debt collection, forced vaccinations or to execute arrest warrants.

The defendants say the criminal charges violate their free speech rights. Their challenge also says they can’t be charged with intimidation because there were no threats of physical harm.

The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled in June that the cases against the two men can go forward. The state Supreme Court is expected to hear the arguments sometime next year.

The men have pleaded guilty to similar charges in Ohio.

Non-commercial, fact based reporting is made possible by your financial support.  Make your donation to WEMU todayto keep your community NPR station thriving.

Like 89.1 WEMU on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Contact WEMU News at734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org

Rick Pluta is the managing editor for the Michigan Public Radio Network.
Related Content