Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is warning of continued risks to election security in Michigan.
“The threats against our democracy are truly a five-alarm fire and in that fire Michigan is ground zero,” Benson said during an event Wednesday hosted by End Citizens United, a group committed to remove dark money from politics.
Seventeen months after the 2020 presidential election, the results are still a hot topic of conspiracies for some Republican candidates.
Benson spoke at length about the problem created by people who do not accept the results of the 2020 presidential election, including former President Donald Trump, and people running for state office in Michigan.
Unfounded concerns about absentee ballots led to accusations of nonexistent election fraud. However, Benson did not commit to sending out absentee ballot applications like she did in 2020.
Benson said until those who perpetuate “the big lie” are held accountable it will be difficult to truly move on.
“The threats against our democracy are truly a five-alarm fire and in that fire Michigan is ground zero.” —Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson
“Unless there is real political and legal accountability for those who have tried to violate the law and undermine our democracy so far and continue to spread misinformation, until there’s real accountability there, we should expect it only to continue or even escalate,” Benson said.
Trump — who refuses to publicly concede that he lost the election to Joe Biden — will be in Macomb County on Saturday to endorse several candidates. He is only supporting candidates who continue to claim —without evidence — that Trump won in 2020. Those include Matt DePerno for attorney general and Kristina Karamo for secretary of state.
The Michigan Republican Party is training thousands of poll watchers to observe tabulations at precincts across the state on Election Day.
Benson said participation in the process is good for democracy, however, she’s concerned about people intentionally slowing down the process.
“We’re also recognizing the possibility of bad actors, and there have been candidates who have called upon individuals to serve as election workers and actively interfere with election administration,” Benson said.
Hundreds of untrained poll watchers and protesters caused havoc at a ballot counting center in Detroit following the 2020 presidential election.