MICHIGAN, USA — Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson today unveiled her legislative agenda for elections voting, which she said will expand voter accessibility.
“Michigan voters want elections to be accessible, strong and secure. We saw this in 2018 when voters enshrined expanded voting rights in our state constitution, and again in 2020 when record numbers of voters exercised their new rights,” said Benson. “Our job now is clear: to defend and protect democracy by ensuring that no matter how one votes, who they vote for, where they live, or what they look like, their vote will be counted.”
According to a release from her office Benson is proposing the following:
- Require absentee ballot applications be mailed to registered voters every federal election cycle;
- Mandate ballots postmarked by Election Day and received shortly after are counted;
- Establish early in-person voting;
- Make Election Day a state holiday to facilitate voting and make it easier for citizens to serve as election workers;
- Allow overseas service members and spouses to return their ballots electronically;
- Require translated election materials where a significant non-English-speaking community lives;
- Provide funds to ensure voting locations are ADA-compliant and establish curbside voting;
- Allow processing of absentee ballots two weeks prior to Election Day;
- Prohibit deceptive election practices that deter or mislead voters;
- Prohibit open carry of firearms within 100 feet of a voting location;
- Mandate training standards for election challengers and election workers; and,
- Require a statewide risk-limiting audit of election results prior to state certification.
Benson released her agenda on Feb. 1 -- the first day of Black History Month. She said the plan is in tribute to Black people and their sacrifices.
“Today, we stand on the shoulders of the brave men and women who have fought for voting rights and fair elections in our country,” said Benson’s Assistant Secretary of State Heaster Wheeler. “They recognized what we all know: Voting rights are civil rights, and accessible, strong and secure elections benefit every Michigan community and every Michigan citizen.”
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