July 23rd, 2023

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Michigan is now in the vanguard position protecting democracy and elections in America.  Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and the legislature have proposed, advanced, and enacted a series of bills implementing two statewide citizen proposals expanding and protecting access to the ballot in Michigan. Under Secretary Benson’s leadership voting in Michigan has become much more convenient, accessible, and just, while maintaining the highest standards of security, and she’s not stopping there.  During the summer of 2023 Secretary Benson worked with Senate partners to introduce the Michigan Voting Rights Act (Senate Bills 401-404). This series of bills were in response to ongoing attacks on the U.S. Voting Rights act, including Section 5 and the 10th anniversary of the US Supreme Court’s Shelby County Vs. Holder decision.  The intent of the Act is to accomplish four objectives:: 

  1. Prohibit voter denial, dilution, and/or suppression. 
  2. Require and expand the jurisdictions that must translate election-related information into languages other than English, to ensure that language minority groups in our state have an equal opportunity to participate in the voting process.
  3. Enhance and clarify protections for voters with disabilities or who otherwise need assistance to vote.
  4. Prohibit intimidation, coercion, and deceptive practices of government and private actors with the intent or results in protected classes not participating in the election. The action can be before, during, or after the election.

Much work remains in perfecting and advancing the Michigan’s Voting Rights act, by scoring the introduced act Michigan LCV recognizes the critical leadership and direction Secretary Benson is moving the state – a direction where all eligible Michiganders will have free, safe, secure, and equitable access to the ballot.