Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) on Wednesday continued her campaign promoting federal election legislation, claiming the federal government has “never” been needed more to counter states attempting to “dismantle democracy.”
The Michigan Democrat spoke on #VoteHerIn, a podcast run by two self-described “progressive feminist moms,” about her support for Democrats’ so-called “For the People Act,” legislation that Senate Republicans, for a second time, successfully blocked Democrats from advancing early Wednesday morning.
“We know how important that protection is at a time like right now,” Benson said, “where there are bad actors in states across the country trying to dismantle democracy and make it harder for people to vote and easier for people to overturn election results that they don’t like.”
Benson — who recently joined in on the rally cries coming out of the far-left camp, calling election laws “infrastructure” and demanding an end to the filibuster in the name of “democracy” — reemphasized Wednesday her push for the For the People Act. Republicans argue the bill would strip states’ control over their own elections and in fact subvert democracy.
“We’ve never needed the federal government more,” Benson said. “Perhaps it’s not been since 1965 that we’ve needed these federal protections more, and that’s why it’s so important that we demand democracy from our Congress, from our Senate.” She also said, touching on the lesser-discussed campaign finance overhaul proposals, that the federal government “has an important responsibility … in funding our elections quite frankly.”
Benson’s comments come as states such as Georgia, Florida, Texas, and her own state of Michigan have pushed to tighten voter laws amid Republican concerns that 2020 election results in swing states were impacted by fraud. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) was the first to sign such a bill, praising it in March when it passed as making it “easy to vote and hard to cheat.”
Michigan’s state legislature, which is divided by a Republican-controlled House and Senate and a Democrat governor, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, has introduced a slate of proposals designed to institute safeguards on elections, as detailed by M Live. Whitmer, however, with her veto powers, has vowed to prevent the proposals from becoming law.
Benson in July accused her state’s election reform proposals, as well as the sister proposals in other major battlegrounds, as an attempt to “make it easer to overturn an election if partisan officials don’t like the results”:
How democracies die: making it harder to vote & easier to overturn an election if partisan officials don’t like the results.
This game plan is playing out across our country – from Texas to Michigan to Georgia to Arizona – and why we must #DefendDemocracy now if it is to survive
— Jocelyn Benson (@JocelynBenson) July 15, 2021
During the podcast, the secretary of state also lamented democracy being “hurt” in the 2000 election, where former President George Bush defeated former Vice President Al Gore in a presidential race that hinged on Florida’s outcome. Benson said the election drove her to become involved in election administration.
“I started to see secretaries of state and election administrators as those who every day have opportunities to protect democracy, or misuse the office in a way that would hurt democracy, and we saw that in the 2000 election with Katherine Harris, who made decisions large and small that impacted a presidential election,” she charged.
Write to Ashley Oliver at [email protected].