Michigan’s Secretary of State plays a crucial role in state government. You might be most familiar with that office through the local branches where you renew your driver’s license, license plate, pay vehicle registration fees, and so forth. But it’s also the state’s top elections official and maintains some of the state’s most important records.
Republicans hope our next secretary of state will be Mary Treder Lang.
She is a certified public accountant by trade and a member of the Eastern Michigan University Board of Regents, a role she’s served in since 2012.
Treder Lang joins Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson to talk about her positions, her campaign, and what she hopes to accomplish as secretary of state if she’s victorious in November.
She discusses a controversy surrounding whether voters should have to check a box affirming their American citizenship when they go to the polls. The so-called “citizenship check box” is something current Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson went to court to defend.
“I don’t think we need it,” says Treder Lang, who says new ways of making sure voter rolls are up-to-date make a citizenship check box unnecessary.
However, Lang told the Detroit Free Press earlier this year that she wants to color code driver’s licenses so non-citizens can be easily and immediately recognized.
She also discusses the “Promote the Vote” ballot question that will appear before voters this fall. It would allow straight-ticket voting, no-reason absentee voting, additional time for members of the military to vote, people to register to vote at any time with proof of residency, protect secret ballots, and require audits for election results.
Treder Lang says she opposes the proposal. She says the same-day registration piece is what she finds most objectionable. “It’s putting a burden on the clerks the day of elections.”
But she says she does support some form of no-reason absentee voting.
“I support a secure no-reason absentee voting and that is associated with going to the clerk’s office, showing your ID, and asking for an absentee ballot,” says Treder Lang.
Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.