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Ypsilanti to fight lawsuit over ordinance mandating landlords distribute voting information

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The City of Ypsilanti is planning to fight a lawsuit that was brought against it. The suit claims an ordinance requiring landlords to distribute voting information is unconstitutional.

The ordinance, which is currently suspended as a result of the litigation, says all landlords must include information about voting in a tenant’s move-in packet. That includes materials provided by the city about absentee ballots, polling locations, and a voter registration form.

John Barris the Ypsilanti city attorney, and he said the case was referred to the city insurance company and they’ve picked up the defense.

“They’ve assigned defense council to the case, and the defense counsel has looked at the case, and there was a response filed with the court for the city. And the case will now go forward in the federal district court.”

According to the law firm representing the five landlords who filed the suit, the ordinance is a violation of the First Amendmentbecause it's compelled speech.

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Josh Hakala is the general assignment reporter for the WEMU news department.
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