Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced Tuesday that absentee ballot applications will be mailed to all 7.7 million registered voters in Michigan for the August primary and November general election.
“There is no evidence of fraud in our elections… and if we find it, we prosecute it.” - Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.
President Trump responded to the decision by threatening to withhold federal funding to Michigan. Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson joins Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson to discuss the quarrel with Trump, and to reassure the public that everyone should have easy access to an absentee voting option.
Listen: Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn discusses Trump’s threat to withhold federal funding
Jocelyn Benson is Michigan’s Secretary of State. She joins Stephen to discuss the recent controversy between her and President Trump regarding absentee balloting for the upcoming November election. She says it is well within her legal right to give every voter the opportunity to vote absentee and to make this as readily accessible to voters as possible.
“Importantly, this is in our state constitution because voters voted overwhelmingly to put it there” says Benson, referring to state Proposition 3, which passed in 2018.
“I’m not going to play politics. I’m not going to play games. We don’t have time for that.” - Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson.
President Trump claims that an increase in absentee voting will lead to a surge in voter fraud, but Benson reassures Michigan voters that there is no evidence to support this claim, and that voters who are wary of the health concern safety of the polls should consider the absentee option.
“There is no evidence of fraud in our elections… and if we find it, we prosecute it,” she says.
Some critics have questioned Benson’s use of federal money to fund this initiative, but she asserts that this application is an appropriate use of federal COVID-19 relief funds, and will help achieve the highest possible voter turnout.
“Like my colleagues in several other states…many secretaries of state are using this funding for encouraging voters to vote by mail… it’s a voter education tool,” says Benson.
“I’m not going to play politics. I’m not going to play games. We don’t have time for that.”
This post was written by WDET’s Rowan Niemisto.