Michigan Secretary of State system upgrade takes effect today
The Michigan Secretary of State (SOS) has undergone what it calls a “major technology upgrade” to its services system. Online services, self-service stations and the branch office appointment system are back as of 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 16 after going offline for a few days to prepare the upgrade. NOTE: The system has been struggling to work Tuesday, likely due to an influx of web traffic. Once system upgrades are ready (9 a.m. March 16), new online services at Michigan.gov/SOS will include:AdRenew or replace an enhanced driver’s license or state ID if no new photo is required -- You may renew your driver’s license or enhanced driver’s license online through You may renew your driver’s license or enhanced driver’s license online through e-Services if you are a U.S. citizen and your last renewal was completed at a Secretary of State office. View the status of the requested driver’s license or state IDRequest and obtain a driving recordAdd a motorcycle endorsement to an eligible driver’s licenseAccess streamlined business servicesThe SOS said in addition to the services already offered at self-service stations, new transactions will include:Renew a standard or enhanced driver’s license or state ID if no new photo is requiredRequest a replacement and print out a temporary license or IDAdd a motorcycle endorsement to an eligible driver’s licenseSign up on the state’s organ donor registryIf you have any questions, you can visit the Department of State website at Michigan.gov/SOS, call 888-SOS-MICH (767-6424) or connect with us on our social media accounts.
Michigan Secretary of State system upgrade means some service outages March 11-15, 2021
The Michigan Secretary of State (SOS) is about to undergo what it calls a “major technology upgrade” to its services system. This will force online services, self-service stations and the branch office appointment system to be unavailable from 5 p.m. Thursday, March 11, until 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 16. Once system upgrades are ready (9 a.m. March 16), new online services at Michigan.gov/SOS will include:AdRenew or replace an enhanced driver’s license or state ID if no new photo is requiredView the status of the requested driver’s license or state IDRequest and obtain a driving recordAdd a motorcycle endorsement to an eligible driver’s licenseAccess streamlined business servicesThe SOS said in addition to the services already offered at self-service stations, new transactions will include:Renew a standard or enhanced driver’s license or state ID if no new photo is requiredRequest a replacement and print out a temporary license or IDAdd a motorcycle endorsement to an eligible driver’s licenseSign up on the state’s organ donor registryIf you have any questions, you can visit the Department of State website at Michigan.gov/SOS, call 888-SOS-MICH (767-6424) or connect with us on our social media accounts.
Michigan SOS: More than 250 audits confirm accuracy, integrity of state’s 2020 election
FILE - In this Wednesday, Oct. 28, 2020 photo provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson addresses the state in Lansing, Mich., accompanied by Gov. Further, auditors found that 83 percent of the counting boards were balanced or explained, up from 27 percent at the close of the county canvass. In Sterling Heights, 71 percent were balanced or explained, compared to 58 percent at the end of the canvass. Further, the Sterling Heights audit was the first absentee ballot counting board ever audited in the state. Such errors are often corrected or explained in the county canvass, but time constraints make that more difficult, especially in high-population jurisdictions.
Michigan SOS: You will be able to renew enhanced licenses, IDs online by mid-March
The Michigan Department of State will enable new online services for customers on March 16, 2021. The new system will allow you to do the following online:Renew or replace an enhanced driver’s license or state ID if no new photo requiredView the status of the requested driver’s license or state IDRequest and obtain a driving recordAdd a motorcycle endorsement to an eligible driver’s licenseAccess streamlined business services“Customers will now be able to renew or replace their driver’s licenses and IDs at any of our more than 130 new self-service stations across the state, and renew or replace their enhanced licenses and IDs online,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. Branch appointments, online and self-service station transactions will be unavailable from 5 p.m. Thursday, March 11 to 9 a.m. Tuesday, March 16 while the system is brought online,” reads a statement from SOS. AdThe SOS said new self-service station transactions also will include:Renew a standard or enhanced driver’s license or state ID if no new photo requiredRequest a replacement and print out a temporary license or IDAdd a motorcycle endorsement to an eligible driver’s licenseSign up on the state’s organ donor registryLearn more about Secretary of State services at Michigan.gov/SOS. Dec. 15, 2020: Michigan SOS will expand online, self-service options in March: What to know
Michigan AG returns fire on Trump: ‘You’re not our type’
President Donald Trump has once again taken aim at Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel on Twitter early Sunday morning -- and she was not having it. https://t.co/9OXZOujVtE — Dana Nessel (@dananessel) December 27, 2020“A patriot is a person who vigorously defends their country against its enemies and detractors. You’re not our type.”Nessel followed up with another tweet Sunday, saying she doesn’t expect this behavior from President-elect Joe Biden come his inauguration in January. “We’d be asking there be action taken against her law license including potentially disbarment.”In one of the latest filings, the attorney for Wayne County, Robert Davis, called on the federal judge in Michigan’s Eastern District to sanction the lawyers for six Michigan Trump supporters who are suing Gov. With no credible legal options remaining and the Electoral College having confirmed Biden’s victory earlier this month, Trump is turning his attention to Jan. 6.
Michigan SOS will expand online, self-service options in March: What to know
The Michigan Secretary of State says new online and self-service options will become available in March 2021. New options for Michigan residents include renewing their standard and enhanced driver’s licenses and state identification cards at self-service stations and online. AdNew procedures will also be implemented:An electronic lien and title program will begin , making lien and title information available online for lienholders in lieu of a paper certificate of title. Mechanic testing registration will be available online only to mechanics with a Michigan driver’s license or state ID. Related: Michigan Secretary of State to offer priority driver’s license, ID appointments
Michigan SOS Jocelyn Benson says armed protesters gathered outside her Detroit home
But the threats of those gathered weren’t actually aimed at me – or any other elected officials in this state. Their goal is to overturn and upend the results of an election that are clear and unequivocal, and that 5.5 million Michigan citizens participated in. And that job is simple: to defend and protect every Michigan voter, their choice, and their votes. I have spent my career defending and protecting the right to vote of every eligible citizen. I will continue as Michigan’s Secretary of State, proudly protecting and defending every voter and every vote.
During live interview, Jocelyn Benson says Lee Chatfield texted her he hasn’t confirmed meeting with Trump
During an interview with CNN Friday morning, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said she had not spoken with state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield about their invitation to meet with President Trump in Washington. UPDATE 12:48 p.m.: Chatfield Chatfield tweeted : “No matter the party, when you have an opportunity to meet with the President of the United States, of course you take it. 🇺🇸”However, during the live interview Benson said Chatfield texted her that “he hasn’t confirmed with anyone that he’s going or not.”Reports say Trump will meet with several Republican state legislators from Michigan about the election results today. of State Jocelyn Benson this morning on CNN: "Actually, the speaker *just* texted me and said he hasn't confirmed with anyone that he's going or not." President - Michigan View All CandidatesRepresentatives with the Michigan State House and Senate could not be reached for comment by Local 4 and ClickOnDetroit.
Michigan: GOP canvassers can’t legally rescind Wayne County election certification vote
The Secretary of State office’s statement comes after a whirlwind of a week for the Wayne County Board of Canvassers. In her affidavit, Palmer said “the Wayne County election had serious process flaws which deserve investigation. The Michigan Board of State Canvassers has until Nov. 23 to certify the election itself. And as always, under state law our department conducts these audits after the Board of State Canvassers has certified the election. The Michigan Republican Party condemns the actions of Democrats and we will continue to fight for transparency and integrity in Wayne County elections.
GOP Wayne County Board of Canvassers members trying to rescind vote certification
DETROIT – Two Republicans on the Wayne County Board of Canvassers are trying to rescind their vote to certify the county’s presidential election results. UPDATE: Michigan Secretary of State says GOP canvassers can’t legally rescind Wayne County election certification voteFast facts:New affidavitsIn her affidavit, Palmer said “the Wayne County election had serious process flaws which deserve investigation. Before the vote, Palmer said she would certify every community in Wayne County, except Detroit. The Wayne County Ethics Board is looking into that complaint. Certifying all election results for the state is now in the hands of the Michigan Board of Canvassers.
Crowds gather to support election results in Detroit, denounce them in Lansing
It was another weekend of President Donald Trump supporters protesting against the election results. "We don’t feel that the election is fair.”Although a slightly smaller crowd in Downtown Detroit, Biden supporters had a different message. Luiz, with the group ‘Trump/Pence Out Now,’ said Trump claiming election fraud is causing more harm than good. Recently, several lawsuits claiming election fraud on behalf of Donald Trump were thrown out in several states, including Michigan. Biden supporters said it’s time to move on.
2020 election ‘most secure in American history,’ according to Department of Homeland Security, more groups
Right now, across the country, election officials are reviewing and double checking the entire election process prior to finalizing the result. There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromised. In Michigan, Trump and his team have filed a lawsuit in an effort to halt the state’s certification of its election results. The Trump campaign is suing Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson along with the Wayne County and the Michigan Board of Canvassers, which are in charge of reviewing elections. More: Hundreds provide testimonies -- but no real evidence -- in Trump campaign lawsuit to stop certification of Michigan election results
Did a dead 118-year-old man vote absentee in Michigan? State says no
A viral post showing what appears to be an 118-year-old man voting absentee in Michigan is not what it seems, says the Michigan Secretary of State. The post alleges voter fraud by showing a man named William Bradley, with the birth year 1902, having sent in an absentee ballot. The post also claimed the man had died in 1984. We asked the Secretary of State for an explanation:“Ballots of voters who have died are rejected in Michigan, even if the voter cast an absentee ballot and then died before Election Day. On rare occasions, a ballot received for a living voter may be recorded in a way that makes it appear as if the voter is dead.
Election updates from Michigan Secretary of State: Follow here
As Michigan votes continue to be counted, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is tweeting updates on the state’s voter participation and ballot tabulation numbers. 4:08 p.m. update on Nov. 4:Proud of all the election workers who are meticulously, securely, transparently, tirelessly continuing to #CountEveryVote in Michigan. 9:10 a.m. update on Nov. 4:Michigan update: recently updated and reported results now include absentee ballots voted by citizens in Livonia and Dearborn. pic.twitter.com/LmIaDTQ5cy — Jocelyn Benson (@JocelynBenson) November 4, 2020Secretary Benson’s 7:06 a.m. update on November 4 reads:“Michigan update: Election officials worked through the night to #CountEveryVote. — Jocelyn Benson (@JocelynBenson) November 3, 2020Secretary Benson’s 3:49 p.m. update on November 3 reads:"Update from Michigan:
President Trump calls Michigan Supreme Court ruling ‘BIG win’
LANSING, Mich. – President Donald Trump went after Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Twitter Wednesday. Trump relished Michigan Supreme Court’s ruling to strike down Whitmer’s Emergency Orders. The president retweeted a post about the governor losing at the Michigan Supreme Court by calling it great news for the people of Michigan and also overstates auto company expansion. Since the ruling, counties and municipalities have issued their own orders reinstating most of Whitmer’s original orders for their jurisdictions. READ: List: Michigan counties issue emergency coronavirus orders after state Supreme Court ruling
Ballot issue sparks war of words between President Trump, Jocelyn Benson
LANSING, Mich. – President Donald Trump went after Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson on Twitter Thursday. In a Tweet, Trump called Benson a “Democrat Trump Hater" and said the mix up was intentional. (WDIV)The Board of Elections reached out to local clerks and told them to reprint the ballot and instruct the voter to ignore the first ballot. Any voters who may have received an incorrect ballot will receive a correct ballot and their vote will count. In the case that a voter returns both the incorrect and the corrected ballot, only the corrected ballot will be counted.”
Michigan appeals court: SOS Benson’s mass mailing of absent ballot applications OK
When Benson announced the mass mailing, she was criticized by President Donald Trump, who wrongly stated that she was sending absentee ballots, not applications. The previous record for absent voter ballots cast in a Michigan election was 1.3 million in the 2016 Presidential Election. Already, about 2.3 million absentee ballots have been requested for the fall election, which Benson said puts Michigan on track to receive more than 3 million that are completed. Of the 7.7 million registered voters in Michigan, about 5 million are expected to participate in the upcoming election, officials said in August. About 10,000 absent voter ballots were rejected in Michigan’s Primary Election in August.
400 ballots for Michigan military, overseas voters incorrectly labeled President Trump’s running mate
DETROIT – A glitch caused 400 ballots printed for military and overseas voters to have Jeremy Cohen listed as President Donald Trump’s running mate. Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s office said the glitch has since been dealt with. “There was a temporary error in the QVF data that had caused some ballots downloaded to display incorrect ballot information when clerks downloaded the QVF ballot sent to military and overseas voters,” said spokeswoman Tracy Wimmer. The Board of Elections reached out to local clerks and told them to reprint the ballot and instruct the voter to ignore the first ballot. According to Benson’s office, the misprinted ballots would still be counted if used in voting.
400 ballots printed for Michigan military, overseas voters incorrectly labeled President Trump's running mate
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Michigan SOS: Influx of voters, mail-in ballots to stretch Election Day into election week this Nov.
While absent voter ballots provide a safe alternative to voting in person at the polls on Election Day, the process of counting absent voter ballots can determine how quickly, or not, final election results are announced. Processing absent voter ballots in MichiganThe process for counting absent voter ballots is different in each state. In Michigan, election workers are not allowed to begin processing absent voter ballots until 7 a.m. on Election Day. The previous record for absent voter ballots cast in a Michigan election was 1.3 million in the 2016 Presidential Election. Polling precincts will still be open for Michigan voters from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. on Election Day.
Michigan Secretary of State, Detroit city clerk team up for upcoming November election
DETROIT The Michigan Secretary of States Office and the Detroit city clerk are teaming to make sure every vote counts for the upcoming November general election. Presidential elections always bring a lot of energy, said Detroit City Clerk Janice Winfrey. Winfrey said her office and Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson are working together to make sure every vote is counted. They are recruiting and training at least 6,000 election workers to make sure all 182 polling locations and 134 absentee counting boards are fully staffed. They will conduct physically distant in person training at Little Caesars Arena for new election workers to ensure election workers and staff are ready for Nov. 3.
Michigan Secretary of State to support City of Detroit in November election
DETROIT Following irregularities in ballot counting in Detroit during the August Primary, the state is stepping in to ensure votes are counted properly for the November General Election. Little Caesars Arena will provide space for physically distant in person training for new election workers to ensure election workers and staff are fully prepared to execute their duties on Election Day. Hiring additional staff to support the City clerks office, including Christopher Thomas, former Michigan Bureau of Elections Director, who will serve as a senior advisor. Revising protocols for ballot counting and sorting to make more effective use of high-speed scanners (tabulators) and reduce the potential for error. The City of Detroit is committed to ensuring our elections are safe, secure, and accessible to all, said Duggan.
Michigan refutes report of Russian voter info hack: Our system has not been hacked
DETROIT The Michigan Secretary of State is refuting a report that Russians have shared the personal data of nearly every Michigan voter. A report published by a Russian newspaper claims internet users in Russia have stolen information on millions of voters in Michigan, Arkansas, Connecticut, North Carolina and Florida. The newspaper reports the users aimed to collect money from the U.S. Department of Justices Rewards for Justice program, which is administered by the Diplomatic Security Service. We encourage all Michigan voters to be wary of attempts to hack their minds, however, by questioning the sources of information and advertisements they encounter and seeking out trusted sources, including their local election clerk and our office. If voters suspect misinformation they should report it to firstname.lastname@example.org.Related: Voting by mail in Michigan for 2020 General Election: What to know
Michigan Court of Appeals to review Detroits absentee ballot precinct inaccurate count
DETROIT An activist is suing Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson for an inaccurate count reported from Detroits absentee ballot precincts in the August primary. The Michigan Court of Appeals has agreed to hear the case. Robert Davis, who is suing Benson over the miscount and attended the canvass of Detroits votes, said he had no choice. During the primary election, 72 percent of Detroits absentee ballot precincts had an inaccurate count. If the books dont match that means a recount is not legally possible which in a tight race is problematic.
Detroit primary election irregularities may lead to state stepping in
DETROIT The Michigan Board of Canvassers is asking the Secretary of State to get more closely involved in Detroits next election. According to officials, 72 percent of Detroits absentee ballots werent re-countable based on irregularities in ballot handling. READ: Board of Canvassers: 72 percent of Detroit absentee precincts have inaccurate countsEarlier this month, there were a lot of new election workers. Start with that, and then get as many qualified people as you can and know what theyre doing for at least this Novembers election, Shinkle said. Wayne County Board of Canvassers member Jonathan Kinlock agrees with Shinkle and said a lot needs to change with the citys election department.
Michigan to mail cards telling 4.4M they can vote from home in November
Michigan will mail postcards telling 4.4 million registered voters that they can vote from home in November's presidential election, and it will spend $2 million to reimburse local governments that provide pre-paid postage on absentee ballot return envelopes, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said Thursday. She said the moves, which come amid the coronavirus pandemic, are needed to make sure voters and election workers can stay safe. She pointed to the record number of absentee ballots that were cast in last week's primary, which also had record turnout. The state will allocate $5.5 million in federal funding to local jurisdictions not only for postage on ballot return envelopes but also to redesign envelopes to the standards of the U.S. Any voter can cast an absentee ballot without needing an excuse following the approval of a ballot initiative in 2018.
Blind Michigan Supreme Court Justice turned away by clerks office while trying to get absentee ballot
BIRMINGHAM, Mich. A Michigan Supreme Court Justice tried to get his absentee ballot in Birmingham this week and get assistance filling it out, but things didnt go smoothly. Justice Richard Bernstein is the first blind justice, elected by voters statewide, to the Michigan Supreme Court. Bernstein was elected to the Michigan Supreme Court in November 2014. Bernstein was turned away because workers in the clerks office didnt know how to get him his absentee ballot. READ: Michigan Department of State launches online absentee voter applicationYou go online today and there is no choice to get an absentee ballot, attorney Jason Turkish said.
Michigan Department of State laying off 60% of staff amid COVID-19 pandemic
LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Department of State (MDOS) will temporarily lay off more than 900 members of its staff starting Sunday, according to a news release. READ: Coronavirus in Michigan: What to do while Secretary of State branch offices are closed“This is an extremely challenging time for our state, our state government, and our department,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. Most of them are staff who typically work in Secretary of State branch offices, which are currently closed. All laid off MDOS employees will be automatically enrolled in the state’s unemployment system. Many driver and vehicle transactions can be done online or at self-service stations located in grocery stores across the state.