Secretary of State

(AP PHOTO/PAUL SANCYA, FILE)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s mass mailing of unsolicited absentee ballot applications to millions of 2020 voters was deemed legal by Michigan’s appeals court. Judges ruled 2-1 Wedneday that she has “inherent” authority to act under a 2018 constitutional amendment expanding voting rights. The court upheld a lower judge’s decision.

Michigan Secretary Of State Branches Reopening Monday

May 28, 2020

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Secretary of State branch offices will reopen Monday by appointment only for essential transactions not available online. An announcement Thursday said that beginning next week, all 131 branch offices in Michigan will be open Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., for certain transactions. Those include including driver licenses and state ID transactions that must be done in-person; title transfers; operator, commercial drivers license, chauffeur, mechanic and motorcycle testing; and seasonal commercial vehicle renewal.

MICHIGAN HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — More than 6,000 people have applied to serve on Michigan's new commission that will draw districts for seats in Congress and the state Legislature.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said nearly half of the applications have been processed.

Her department is now accepting public comments on a method to identify 200 semifinalists. Ultimately 13 commissioners will be randomly selected: four affiliated with the Republican Party, four affiliated with the Democratic Party and five with no affiliation.

MICHIGAN SECRETARY OF STATE'S OFFICE VIA AP

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is considering adding an alternative to the male or female designation on driver's  licenses.

Such a designation might be an "X." Fourteen other states that offer an option other than male or female.

Erin Knott is with Equality Michigan. 

She says it would help people who are transgender or who don't conform to traditional gender roles.

"It's saying that all Michiganders, including members of the transgender community, deserve to live with dignity and respect," Knott says. 

Michigan Replacing Kiosks Where Drivers Can Renew Plates

Nov 28, 2019
Michigan Secretary of State (https://www.michigan.gov/sos)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says her office is replacing self-service kiosks that are unreliable and hard to use.

Benson announced Wednesday that all 93 kiosks across Michigan will be replaced with more user-friendly stations by the end of January. The state also will add 57 machines at branch offices and grocery stores.

Another Voter Roll Cleanup Underway In Indiana

May 24, 2019

Hoosiers are starting to see postcards in the mail from the state, reminding them about Election Day in November.

It’s how the Secretary of State’s office is conducting another purge of the voter rolls.

Brian Charles Watson / Wikimedia Commons

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has finished her tour of every branch office in the state. Benson says she’s working to make sure she keeps her campaign promise of guaranteeing wait times of no longer than 30 minutes.

As part of the weekly series MichMash, Cheyna Roth and Jake Neher talk about how long it might take before we can expect those shorter wait times at the Secretary of State’s office.

Michigan State Police

     LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan State Police's Statewide Network of Agency Photos has grown to nearly 50 million facial images.
 
     The Secretary of State's Office has been giving state police its digital photos since 1998 and state police started using facial recognition technology in 2001. Those include ones taken for driver's licenses or ID cards.
 
     The database also can include social media images if police obtained them as part of a criminal investigation.
 

  

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - New Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is urging lawmakers to let absentee ballots be counted before Election Day and to make other changes following the passage of a ballot initiative that expanded voting options in Michigan. The Democrat says the number of absentee ballots is expected to increase significantly now that people can vote absentee for any reason. Benson also is calling for a number of other changes to "modernize" elections.     

Former Secretary of State Charlie White's sentence, which includes one year of home detention, will remain in place.

The Democratic candidate says Indiana inappropriately labeled some voters' registrations as "inactive" during a cleanup of the state's voter rolls.