Benson responds after protesters gather at her home

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FILE – In this March 5, 2020, file photo, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson speaks at a news conference in Lansing, Mich. Michigan’s top election official said Tuesday, May, 19, 2020, that absentee ballot applications will be mailed to all 7.7 million registered voters for the August primary and November general election. Benson said the step — announced as the state continues to confront the coronavirus pandemic — ensures no one “has to to choose between their health and their right to vote.” (AP Photo/David Eggert, File)

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Dozens of demonstrators gathered outside of Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s home Saturday night protesting the certification of election results in Michigan and demanding a forensic audit.

Video posted by a participant on Facebook shows members of the crowd chanting with megaphones and several holding signs around 9:30 p.m.

The crowd chanted, “Stop the steal” and “No audit, no peace.” They also sang the “The Star-Spangled Banner” and “God Bless America.” 

Bensons released a statement Sunday night saying the protest began as her and her young son were decorating their home for Christmas. She said in her statement that a line is crossed when the primary purpose to gather is to intimidate.

Through threats of violence, intimidation, and bullying, the armed people outside my home and their political allies seek to undermine and silence the will and voices of every voter in this state, no matter who they voted for. Their goal is to overturn and upend the results of an election that are clear and unequivocal, and that 5.5 million Michigan citizens participated in.

But their efforts won’t carry the day. Because our democracy is strong. The will of the people is clear. And I will stand up every day in my job for all voters, even the votes of the protestors who banded together outside my home. 

A portion of Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s statement

Shortly after the video began, law enforcement officials later and remained on scene. The gathering appeared to have remained peaceful.

Recent court rulings nationwide have not found evidence of widespread vote fraud. In Michigan, several allegations put forth during Senate Oversight Committee hearings last week have been debunked as a misunderstanding of how the counting process works.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel also released a statement Sunday night:

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy issued the following joint statement regarding the protest in front of Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s home Saturday night:

“Last night, several individuals converged on the private residence of Secretary of State Benson, disturbing a peaceful neighborhood by taunting and intimidating her family and neighbors. They shouted baseless conspiracy theories about the election, and in videos uploaded to social media, at least one individual could be heard shouting ‘you’re murderers’ within earshot of her child’s bedroom. This mob-like behavior is an affront to basic morality and decency. In a civil society, there are many ways to peaceably assemble and demonstrate. Anyone can air legitimate grievances to Secretary Benson’s office through civil and democratic means, but terrorizing children and families at their own homes is not activism. This disturbing behavior masquerading as protest should be called out for what it is and roundly condemned by citizens and public officials alike.” 

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