Skip to main content

Secretary Benson signs legislation on behalf of Governor Whitmer to improve election efficiency, ensure every vote counts

LANSING, Mich. – Today, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson signed a bill into law while serving as acting governor that improves election efficiency and protects equal access to the ballot box.
“I’m grateful for this opportunity to serve as acting governor and sign this important bill to improve Michigan’s election system,” said Secretary Benson. “As Michigan’s Secretary of State, I implemented our state’s online absentee ballot application system in 2020 to provide a convenient, accessible way for Michigan citizens to request their ballot. Now this system is codified into law. Thank you to Rep. Julie Rogers for sponsoring this legislation to ensure Michigan’s election system will continue to be secure and accessible for all future elections.”
House Bill 4570 amends Michigan Election Law to require the Secretary of State to maintain a web portal that allows qualified and registered electors to request an absent voter ballot.
"HB 4570 ensures that Michigan voters can continue to request an absentee ballot through the internet with a safe, secure, and reliable online system,” said state Representative Julie Rogers (D-Kalamazoo). “With Proposal 2, Michigan voters expressed a desire for more voting options and easier access to the ballot box that maintains election security. This legislation reflects those desires and safeguards your freedom to vote by having an absentee ballot sent to your home upon request without requiring an unnecessary physical trip.” 
The Michigan Constitution provides for an acting governor, including the authority to sign legislation, in the event the governor and lieutenant governor are away for business. Benson is the third Secretary of State in the last 35 years to sign legislation related to elections. Secretary Richard Austin signed a bill as acting governor in 1988 and Secretary Ruth Johnson signed legislation as acting governor in 2013.
Yesterday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a historic package of bills that will ensure every vote in Michigan can be cast and counted, no matter who you are or where you live. The new laws will improve election efficiency, increase voter registration opportunities, and protect equal access to the ballot box. The election package delivers on the promise the governor made in her What’s Next Address to protect election workers and makes good on election reform proposals made in her Growing Michigan Together speech.   

# # #


Secretary Benson signs legislation as acting Governor