Michigan Secretary of State candidate Jocelyn Benson to visit Northern Michigan

jocelyn benson

Jocelyn Benson Taking Secretary of State Campaign to Northern Michigan Thursday

Benson will outline her 30-Minute Guarantee and plans for election security, better service, holding down fees

Democratic Secretary of State (SOS) candidate Jocelyn Benson is heading to Northern Michigan on Thursday to talk about her plan to keep Michigan’s elections secure, hold down fees and end long wait times at SOS offices.  Benson believes the people of Michigan deserve a Secretary of State who works as hard as they do.

Benson, a nationally-recognized expert on elections and the office of Secretary of State, announced her 2018 campaign on Tuesday and is talking to voters across the state.  She will hold an event at noon Thursday at the North Peak Brewing Company, 400 W. Front St. in Traverse City.

As Secretary of State, Benson will introduce the 30-Minute Guarantee to deliver all services managed and overseen by the Secretary of State.  Benson will improve efficiencies and online services, because everyone should be able to get in and out of SOS office in a half-hour or less.

“No one, no matter where they reside, should wait more than 30 minutes to renew their driver license, register their vehicle or cast a ballot,” Benson said.  “When residents in small towns and rural areas have to drive a half-hour — or more — to reach their local branch office, they shouldn’t have to spend more than 30 minutes for the  service they need.

“We need to show the hardworking people of Michigan that their time matters.  I will be a Secretary of State who works as hard as they do,” Benson added.

Benson will also fight to ban Secretary of State fee increases.  As the former Wayne State University law school dean, Benson froze tuition and significantly increased scholarship funding to make law school more affordable and accessible to all students. Just as she fought tuition increases, Benson will use her proven track record on pocketbook issues to advocate against fee hikes that have hit Michigan families hard in recent years.

Benson’s vision is to make Michigan a national model in election security.  She has developed and supervised three election protection efforts in Michigan and will toughen penalties for those who commit voter intimidation. Benson will lead an effort to protect our elections from the threat of computer hacking, tampering and manipulation.

As Secretary of State, Benson will work to modernize our elections, improve poll worker training, and ensure the voting rights of every citizen are protected.  Citizens should be able to vote early or by absentee ballot without having to give a reason, just as they do in dozens of other states.  Benson will ensure voters who want to cast a ballot can do so with ease, and without intimidation or fear that it won’t be counted.

“As a proud military spouse and founder of the Military Spouses of Michigan, I know firsthand how important it is that every vote is counted.  While serving in Afghanistan in 2012, my husband discovered that his absentee ballot wasn’t counted — something that shouldn’t happen to any Michigan voter,” Benson said.  “We can’t allow that to happen. When I’m Secretary of State I will make sure that the votes of our servicemen and women — and all votes — are counted.”

Learn more about Jocelyn Benson and her plan for Secretary of State at www.votebenson.com

About Jocelyn Benson

Jocelyn Benson has more than a decade of experience as a national leader in election law and administration.  She is the author of Secretaries of State: Guardians of the Democratic Process, the first major book on the role of the Secretary of State in enforcing election and campaign finance laws, and promoting fair, accessible and secure elections.

Jocelyn has a proven track record of success in leading institutions, cutting costs and improving services. As the former dean of Wayne State University Law School she froze tuition, expanded access to scholarship funds for all students, and bolstered the school’s reputation and bar passage rates. She also established programs to promote government oversight, provide free legal services for veterans, and help aspiring entrepreneurs participate in the economic revival of Detroit.

Jocelyn recognizes the challenges facing veterans and military families.  In 2012 while her husband, Ryan Friedrichs, served in Afghanistan with the 173rd Airborne Brigade, she joined with four other military spouses to establish the Military Spouses of Michigan, a network dedicated to providing support and services to military spouses and their children.

Jocelyn is currently CEO and Executive Director of the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality (RISE), a national nonprofit.  She serves on several national boards including the advisory board of iCivics, a non-profit founded by retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and dedicated to engaging students in meaningful civic learning.