LANSING — Delegates at the Michigan Democratic Party’s nominating convention today overwhelmingly nominated Jocelyn Benson for a second term as Michigan Secretary of State. The decision makes it official that Benson will stand for reelection on the November ballot.
A nationally recognized defender of democracy, Secretary Benson not only presided over the safest, most secure election in Michigan history she has transformed Secretary of State services to eliminate long wait times so that all office visits now take on average, 20 minutes or less.
“In four years, we have delivered on our promise to improve customer service and make Michigan a national model for free and fair elections,” Benson said. “We’ve done this by doubling the number of service options available online and partnering with the private sector to offer self-service stations in grocery stores.
“Further, we’ve made Michigan a national model for free and fair elections,” Benson added. “Whether you are a Democrat, Republican or an Independent, my top priority is to protect your vote no matter who you vote for. That means making sure every voice is heard and every valid vote is counted so our elections continue to be transparent, safe and secure for everyone.”
In introducing Benson, Heaster Wheeler, who has served as her deputy, repeated what he told delegates at the spring endorsement convention.
“Jocelyn is leading the fight for democracy. She knows we’re at a crossroads. Either we protect democracy for generations to come or we acquiesce to an authoritarian form of government. We all know what that means and, more importantly, we know who that means.”
In her first term Secretary Benson:
- Replaced the state’s antiquated ‘take-a-ticket and wait’ system of serving drivers and vehicle owners so that office visits take an average of 20 minutes or less.
- Doubled the number of services available online, so 60 percent of all transactions processed in 2021 are done without a branch office visit, up from just 28 percent in 2018.
- Added 160 new self-service stations, most of which are in grocery stores to provide more options for customers doing business with the Secretary of State.
- Modernized Michigan’s voter registration system, making it easier to register to vote, enabling voter registration online and implementing automatic voter registration for all eligible citizens and in-person voter registration on Election Day.
- Developed and led the state’s first campaign to recruit a new generation of poll workers, resulting in over 30,000 new election workers throughout the state.
- Helped provide and place over 1,000 secure drop boxes in hundreds of communities, ensuring all voters can return their ballot conveniently, safely and securely.
- Implemented a voter-approved constitutional amendment guaranteeing every voter the right to vote by absentee ballot, which helped fuel record turnout during a pandemic.
- Identified the lowest turnout areas of the state and visited them to speak with voters and community leaders to listen to their concerns and counter election misinformation.
Benson is a national voting rights expert, and her efforts helped prompt more than 5.5 million Michigan voters – Democrats, Republicans and Independents – to cast ballots in November 2020, shattering turnout records. That milestone was made possible, in part, by new voter-approved constitutional guarantees that give every citizen the option to vote from home.
Following the 2020 Presidential election Secretary Benson worked with local election officials to conduct an unprecedented hundreds of post-election audits – all of which affirmed the integrity and accuracy of the election. Her expertise and experience made her a leading national voice in defending the will of the people and her work continues to drive and influence the national efforts to protect democracy.
Secretary Benson’s success as a key figure in protecting democracy against a coordinated effort to undo valid election results – and the fact that she will be prepared to do so again in 2024 – has made her re-election battle a top targeted secretary of state race in the country.