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State of Michigan

05/11/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 05/11/2021 11:02

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson calls for passage of the For the People Act to protect democracy, freedom to vote

MAY 11, 2021

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson submitted a letter to the U.S. Senate Committee on Rules and Administration calling for passage of the For the People Act (S.1) to provide a clear baseline of voting protections in the face of national, coordinated, partisan attacks on every citizen's voting rights by state legislatures.

'S.1 and the substitute amendment would put in place critical, minimum standards needed to protect our democracy and every citizen's freedom to vote,' said Benson.

Michigan's 2020 elections demonstrated that many of the components of the For the People Act can be implemented effectively and efficiently when states utilize political will, funding, data and national best practices. After Michigan citizens voted to overwhelmingly amend the state constitution to enshrine voting rights in 2018, Michigan implemented automatic voter registration, same-day voter registration, no-excuse absentee voting, and an independent citizens redistricting commission in one election cycle, and in the midst of a global pandemic.

Yet state legislators have put forth a 39-bill package to restrict voting rights, joining a national, partisan effort using false information about the 2020 election that undermines voters' faith in democracy.

'The For the People Act is our best chance, and the U.S. Senate our greatest hope, to stop the rollback of voting rights and ensure the voice and vote of every citizen - no matter where they live or who they vote for - is protected,' said Benson. 'I urge the Senate to advance this legislation and stand ready to assist with supporting its implementation here in Michigan, and nationwide.'

Copies of the letter were sent to the Committee Chairwoman Amy Klobuchar and Ranking Member Roy Blunt, as well as to Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Sen. Gary Peters and New Mexico Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, who is president of the National Association of Secretaries of State.

Read a full copy of the letter.

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