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Local News

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson: This November, Democracy is “On the Ballot”

Credit: AP

Jeff Fuentes Gleghorn

The Michigan Democratic Nomination Convention is over and current Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is running for reelection as the official Democratic nominee. Benson has framed her campaign 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.

The Michigan Republican State Nomination Conference will happen on August 27, where it is expected that Kristina Karamo will become the official Republican candidate for Secretary of State. Karamo was a poll-watcher in the 2020 election and supported former President Donald Trump’s baseless claims of fraud in the election. In December of 2020, she joined a group of Republicans who tried to support a baseless lawsuit filed by Texas that would have overturned Michigan’s election results.

It is very likely that this November Michigan voters will be choosing between Benson, who oversaw an election with the highest voter participation rate in 60 years, or Karamo, who tried to help another state overturn it.