Election 2018: “Undecideds” decide Secretary of State race

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Democrat Jocelyn Benson has been named the winner in a tight race with Republican Mary Treder Lang.

Early Wednesday morning the Associated Press declared Benson the winner with 53 percent to 45 percent margin and 93 percent of the votes counted.

In the final weeks leading up to Election Day pollsters found Democrat Jocelyn Benson of Detroit had a more than 11-point margin on Republican Mary Treder Lang of Grosse Pointe Farms, 45 percent to 34 percent.

The wild card in those polling numbers were the Undecided voters, who accounted for nearly 17 percent of the remaining vote.

The winner replaces Republican Ruth Johnson, who cannot run again due to term limits.

The campaign really boiled down to election security and improving service at the Secretary of State offices around Michigan.

Mary Treder Lang claimed she is confident Michigan’s voting equipment is secure from hackers but believes voting equipment should not be connected to the Internet.

She also said she wants to add more certified poll workers so voting precincts are not understaffed.

Jocelyn Benson agrees that strengthening Michigan’s election security is a high priority. She plans to improve poll worker training and raising the penalties for those who try to hack into the state’s election system.

      Both candidates say they will work to eliminate long waits at all Secretary of State branch offices.

Benson has gone so far as to pledge a “30-minute guarantee,” in which no one would wait more than 30 minutes to renew their license or do anything else at the office. 

Treder Lang is backing a plan that would change the system so that people only have to visit a branch office once every eight years to get their driver’s license photo.   

Both candidates say they want to improve how technology is used to decrease wait times, including a phone app, expanded online services and increase the use of automated kiosks.

  

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