Last night at the Democratic National Convention the Secretary of State for Michigan, Jocelyn Benson, told the national audience to text the Joe Biden campaign. This is an overtly partisan move from a position that oversees the voting for the entire state. It’s a gross violation of decorum and undermines the credibility of the state’s oversight of political issues. Benson has been under attack already for radical handling of state elections.
The Secretary of State in Michigan is the 3rd highest official behind the Governor and the Lieutenant Governor. Jocelyn Benson, who holds the title, is in charge of the state’s elections. Typically the role is non-partisan and is filled with people who uphold the values of our country such as fair neutral elections. By instructing the public to reach out to a candidates campaign for general voting information is a violation of the oath of office and breaks the neutrality that’s critical for a fair election. Voters in the state can wonder about what other biases are taking place behind the scenes.
The state of Michigan was forced to remove 7,000 from the voter rolls in Detroit alone. Wayne and Macomb counties carried Governor Gretchen Whitmer to victory in 2018 despite heavy criticism and poor support.
Jocelyn Benson has raised election fraud eyebrows in the past. She sent out millions of absentee ballot applications to everyone in the state. Many people received ballot applications for prior residents or people who had died. Others reported receiving applications to the wrong address or for people who aren’t even residents of the country.
On May 19th, the Secretary of State announced her special and unilateral changes to Michigan’s election. It began with the mailing of absentee applications to every voter in the State. The State sending out applications for absentee voting is a clear abuse of the absentee voting program. Absentee voting is usually reserved for people unable to be present for voting, and is only sent out by request from the voters.
Jocelyn Benson used coronavirus as an excuse for her drastic steps but other state officials point out that it was their own administration that issued the stay-at-home order and shut down local businesses. Next we’ve watched as the Governor herself has taken part in protests in Lansing. When the Governor is marching arm in arm with people protesting in violation of her own stay-at-home orders it begins to cause concern.