Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson on Mackinac Island, May 30, 2019 | Susan J. Demas
Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson will be speaking at the Democratic National Convention this week, joining fellow Michiganders Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and state Rep. Mari Manoogian (D-Birmingham).
Benson is slated to speak Thursday evening along with California Secretary of State Alex Padilla on voting rights. The duo will encourage viewers to exercise their right to vote safely in November following a tribute to the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.).
“Let’s be clear. There is absolutely zero difference between voting by mail and voting absentee. Millions of Americans vote absentee and have for decades. Donald Trump, his family, his staff: they all vote by mail. In fact, states like Colorado, Utah and Oregon have been voting by mail for years. Republicans and Democrats agree that it’s safe,” Benson will say in pre-recorded remarks.
Benson has been a national advocate for mail-in voting. Voters in 2018 approved Proposal 3, which guarantees the right for all citizens in Michigan. Prior to the August primary, Benson mailed absent voter ballot applications to every registered voter in the spring. Trump, who has spread false information about absentee voting, torched Benson on Twitter for taking that action.
More than 2.5 million people voted in Michigan in the statewide primary election, according to the Secretary of State’s office. That broke the record set in 2018 for an August primary, despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Two years ago, 2.2 million voted. In 2020, more than 1.6 million voted absentee.
“As the country prepares to vote this fall amidst a global pandemic, it is critical that every citizen knows how to exercise their right to vote and ensure their ballot is counted,” Benson said.
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