Secretary Benson testifies to U.S. Senate Committee on voting rights


Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer talk about the upcoming election at a briefing on Oct. 28, 2020. (Courtesy of the Michigan Executive Office of the Governor)

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson testified before the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration Wednesday morning to support the For the People Act.

According to the congressional text, the For the People Act works “to expand Americans’ access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics, strengthen ethics rules for public servants, and implement other anti-corruption measures for the purpose of fortifying our democracy, and for other purposes.”

Her goal was to stress the need to preserve access to the vote amid attempts from state legislatures across the nation to roll back recent voting rights expansions, according to a press release from Secretary Benson’s office.

“While states will always serve as laboratories of democracy, federal minimum standards ensure equal protection of every citizen’s right to vote and can prevent attacks on our democracy, both foreign and domestic, that take advantage of the uneven patchwork of state laws throughout our country. This is particularly important when state lawmakers, as we are seeing now, choose party over country and pursue legislation that makes it harder for everyone to vote.”

Secretary Benson

Secretary Benson testified about the success of Michigan’s November election, which saw a record 5.5 million voters cast ballots and more than 3 million vote absentees.

She also spoke about the bipartisan support for the widely popular reforms, and the work her administration has done to implement them. The For the People Act would codify many of these reforms on a national level and safeguard against current and future attempts at voter suppression.

“History instructs – and the current moment demands – that the United States government once again step in and defend democracy against the reprehensible rollback of the right to vote that is sweeping our state legislatures. This legislation is our best chance to stop this rollback and ensure the voice and vote of every citizen – no matter where they live or who they vote for – is protected.”

Secretary Benson

Read a full copy of her testimony.

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