Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson: ‘Michiganders can be confident their voice will be heard’

Jeff Fuentes Gleghorn

Michiganders can apply now to vote absentee in the November 8 election. People can apply online at Michigan.gov/Vote or print an application form from the site and mail, email, or hand deliver it to their local clerk. Applications must be mailed by 5 p.m. Friday, November 4, or delivered in person by 4 p.m. on Monday, November 7. 

“Every successful election we have held in Michigan over the last three years, voters have made it clear they want options for how and when to cast their ballot by choosing to do so absentee in record numbers,” Benson said. “No matter what secure method they choose — whether voting by mail, local drop box or at their clerk’s office — Michiganders can be confident their vote will be counted and their voice will be heard.” 

Under Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, the 2020 election had the highest voter participation in 60 years. When she was first elected in 2018, Benson campaigned on a guarantee that visits to the Secretary of State’s office would only take 30 minute, and after 4 years, the average visit is now down to 20 minutes-  in the past, Michiganders frequently had to wait  hours.  Benson has framed the 2022 election as an effort to save democracy, tweeting that “This November, our fundamental rights, our freedoms and our democracy are on the ballot,” adding that “conspiracy theorists and election deniers are carrying out a coordinated strategy to delegitimize democracy.”

Under Benson’s leadership, Michigan has seen the highest number of registered voters in its history, the highest number of votes in its history, and the second highest voter turnout rate in its history. Over 70 percent of people over 18 voted in the 2020 election. Voter registration was boosted by a voter-approved ballot proposal in 2018 that added eight new voting policies to the Michigan State Constitution, including automatic voter registration, same-day voter registration, and no-excuse absentee voting. As Secretary of State, Benson sent absentee ballot applications to all registered voters during 2020, part of an effort to make voting easier during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Secretary Benson had a successful career as an expert in election law before her election in 2018. She ran for office to make a difference in American democracy and in the everyday lives of Michiganders. “Protecting our democracy, making government work better for everyone, that’s my life’s work,” she said. “So, wherever I can have the greatest impact in doing that, I’ll continue to try to do. Sometimes that answer has taken me to politics, sometimes it’s taken me out of politics, but the mission has always remained the same.”

Reprinted from the Tri-City Record