Democratic candidate for Secretary of State details military voting plan | Michigan Radio

Democratic candidate for Secretary of State details military voting plan

Sep 18, 2018

The state's voting system needs to be improved to ensure that overseas military ballots are received on time and counted, according to Jocelyn Benson, Democratic candidate for Michigan Secretary of State.

Benson unveiled her military voting plan Tuesday, as part of her pledge "to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat."

Benson said military ballots that are post-marked on or before election day should be counted. She said currently they are not counted if they arrive after election day.

Benson also wants military personnel serving in combat zones to be allowed to return ballots electronically. 

"But I would also ensure the extra security measure of having it followed by a paper ballot so that whenever that is received, the vote could be verified," said Benson.

According to Benson, electronic voting from a combat zone is important because it can be dangerous or impossible for service members to send a paper ballot out of a combat zone in a timely manner.

Benson said she did not know how many overseas military personnel have not had their votes counted in Michigan because of these problems because records have not been kept, something she would change.

Benson also plans to implement online voter registration for all Michigan voters, including overseas military personnel.

"A lot of these innovations are in place already in many states around the country," said Benson.

"I intend to work with the Legislature where necessary to change the law to preserve these reforms and work administratively within my department to achieve these revisions within the current law."