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Secretary Benson discusses Michigan's Qualified Voter File, misinformation and other topics with elections expert David Becker

Third installment of "Ready for November" video series provides info for voters

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson interviews election administration and security expert David Becker, one of the co-chairs of the Election Security Commission she appointed last year, in the third episode of Ready for November, a video series Benson’s office launched this month to inform voters ahead of the Nov. 3 general election.

Becker is executive director and founder of the nonprofit Center for Election Innovation & Research in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was director of the elections program at The Pew Charitable Trusts and a senior trial attorney in the Voting Section of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division.

The two talked about Michigan’s voter registration system and the Qualified Voter File, the secure list of voters used by the Michigan Bureau of Elections and more than 1,500 election clerks throughout the state in the administration of elections.

“One of the things that’s really remarkable about Michigan – having looked at this closely co-chairing the Election Security Commission and having looked at a lot of different states – is how well that operates,” Becker said. “We looked into the security protocols in that system. They were very good and there are even some additional improvements that are likely to be made very shortly. There’s a lot of good things to say.”

“We’re really proud of that and have worked to increase the functionality and the security of that database for the past 18 months since I have been in office but we’re always looking for ways to improve,” Secretary Benson said.

The two talked about the Electronic Registration Information Center Becker helped create, recommendations he and others on the Election Security Commission made to Secretary Benson, and the threat of misinformation that voters in Michigan are already encountering as Nov. 3 approaches.

“Michigan voters are going to have to be very sophisticated consumers of media during these last days of the election cycle because Michigan voters are targets,” Becker said. “Our adversaries in the Kremlin and elsewhere want us to think that we cannot trust the election system in the United States. They win when we distrust it and our way to fight back is to have confidence in the system and to vote.

“Quite frankly, I’ll say, vote as early as possible. If you want to vote by mail, get your ballot as early as possible…return it as early as possible. If you want to vote in person, go vote early in person. Whatever you do, do it early and you really inoculate yourself against the disinformation that could be coming in, which is only going to increase as we get closer to Election Day.”

For more information on Michigan’s election security efforts, visit

This week’s Ready for November episode can be found on the Michigan Department of State’s social media accounts and is archived on the MDOS informational webpage for the Nov. 3 election.

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