Michigan Secretary of State

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Michigan GOP lawmakers claim Jocelyn Benson’s absentee ballot mailings illegal

Michigan GOP lawmakers claim Jocelyn Benson’s absentee ballot mailings illegal

June 24, 2020 | Riley Beggin

Former Secretary of State Ruth Johnson brings local clerks to Lansing who claim her successor is ‘throwing spaghetti at the wall’ with experiments during an election year. Democrats denounce the hearing as political theater and nonsense.

 Lawsuit: Jocelyn Benson allowing ‘suspiciously high’ voter registration rates

Lawsuit: Jocelyn Benson allowing ‘suspiciously high’ voter registration rates

June 9, 2020 | Riley Beggin

A conservative activist sues Michigan’s top elections officials, alleging that 16 of the state’s 83 counties have registration rates of more than 90 percent of eligible voters. A state spokesperson calls the suit a publicity stunt.

Trump threatens Michigan funding over Benson absentee application plan

Trump threatens Michigan funding over Benson absentee application plan

May 20, 2020 | Riley Beggin

The president said he’d “hold up funding” for the state as it faces a $6.2 billion budget shortfall due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Jocelyn Benson orders Michigan to mail absentee applications to all voters

Jocelyn Benson orders Michigan to mail absentee applications to all voters

May 19, 2020 | Riley Beggin

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s office will use $4.5 million in CARES Act funding to send applications to 7.7 million registered voters. The plan is likely to be opposed by Republicans.

Thousands want to draw Michigan’s political districts. Most are white men.

Thousands want to draw Michigan’s political districts. Most are white men.

February 27, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

A new independent redistricting panel has attracted 6,000 volunteers, but Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says they don’t yet reflect Michigan’s demographic and geographic diversity. 

30-minute guarantee at Michigan Secretary of State — if you have appointment

30-minute guarantee at Michigan Secretary of State — if you have appointment

December 12, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said she’s met her promise of 30-minute waits at every branch office, thanks to innovative changes. Walk-ins, though, can still wait for hours and getting an appointment at busier branches can take time.

Liberal super PAC sues Michigan over voting restrictions

Liberal super PAC sues Michigan over voting restrictions

November 13, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Priorities USA argues in two lawsuits that state laws prohibiting certain voter services unconstitutionally restrict the right to vote. A state Republican leader said the restrictions are important to discourage voter fraud.

Applications open for new Michigan redistricting commission. What to know.

Applications open for new Michigan redistricting commission. What to know.

October 24, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Registered state voters can apply to serve on the commission until next June. Here’s what you need to do.

Michigan law limiting ballot drives unconstitutional, court rules

Michigan law limiting ballot drives unconstitutional, court rules

September 27, 2019 | Riley Beggin

 The law places a 15 percent cap per congressional district on signature gathering for ballot initiatives. The court said that unfairly hampers the public’s rights.

Michigan’s Republican Legislature sends budgets to Whitmer — vetoes expected

Michigan’s Republican Legislature sends budgets to Whitmer — vetoes expected

September 24, 2019 | Riley Beggin

 A one-time road funding increase and cuts to the Secretary of State’s office are among the Republican budget decisions that Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has strongly opposed, and may veto. 

Michigan Legislature, Gov. Whitmer head for showdown on roads, redistricting

Michigan Legislature, Gov. Whitmer head for showdown on roads, redistricting

September 19, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Republican-led House and Senate committees approve road funding at levels well below what Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has demanded. Constraints placed on Secretary of State and Attorney General offices may also draw pushback from the governor.

Michigan’s Secretary of State promised 30-minute waits — lines are worse

Michigan’s Secretary of State promised 30-minute waits — lines are worse

August 13, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Jocelyn Benson swept into office vowing to serve customers in 30 minutes. But wait times in 2019 are at their highest in five years, up to two or three hours in some branches. Benson says it's the result of long-term underinvestment to be solved with hard structural change.

Check out wait times at your Michigan Secretary of State offices

Check out wait times at your Michigan Secretary of State offices

August 13, 2019 | Mike Wilkinson

Lines have gotten longer so far this year, compared with wait times in 2018. This Bridge database allows you to see how times have changed in branch offices near you.  

Will this application help Michigan select a fair redistricting commission?

Will this application help Michigan select a fair redistricting commission?

July 18, 2019 | Riley Beggin

The Secretary of State has released a proposed application to serve on the new redistricting commission. The public can offer comment through Aug. 9.

What to expect in Michigan’s first election since voting rights amendment

What to expect in Michigan’s first election since voting rights amendment

May 3, 2019 | Riley Beggin

 Tuesday, May 7 will be the first election where Michigan voters will exercise a variety of rights enacted by a sweeping amendment approved in November. 

Jocelyn Benson says she’s committed to increasing Michigan voter turnout

Jocelyn Benson says she’s committed to increasing Michigan voter turnout

May 3, 2019 | Riley Beggin

The newly elected Michigan Democratic Secretary of State says she’s hosting town hall forums and working with local clerks to enhance voter rights and boost turnout in elections.

Jocelyn Benson plans overhaul of Michigan Secretary of State offices

Jocelyn Benson plans overhaul of Michigan Secretary of State offices

April 11, 2019 | Riley Beggin

The Secretary of State visited all 131 branch offices in her first 100 days in office. What she found, she said, “was heartbreaking.”

Pro-Whitmer group broke Michigan campaign finance laws, Benson finds

Pro-Whitmer group broke Michigan campaign finance laws, Benson finds

February 8, 2019 | Riley Beggin

Build a Better Michigan and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s campaign committee engaged in express advocacy, Democratic Sec. of State Jocelyn Benson announced Friday, and must pay pay a $37,500 fine.

Federal court scuttles Michigan gerrymandering deal, rejects trial delay

Federal court scuttles Michigan gerrymandering deal, rejects trial delay

February 1, 2019 | Joel Kurth, Mike Wilkinson

Less than a week before a trial is expected to start, federal judges paved the way for a landmark showdown over Michigan’s legislative districts, which Republicans drew and Democrats have derided as unfair.

Michigan Democratic leaders Whitmer, Nessel and Benson working in concert

Michigan Democratic leaders Whitmer, Nessel and Benson working in concert

January 31, 2019 | Riley Beggin

The women meet regularly and, just weeks into office, are finding strategic ways to disrupt GOP laws and policy. Their alignment contrasts with the frosty relations between Gov. Snyder and Republican leaders during his tenure.

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