Described as being "born to be Secretary of State", Benson wants to bring reform to the voting process and make it easier for citizens to participate. As the video states, Michigan has fallen behind the nation in bringing innovative changes to the office - and it's time we catch up to the rest of the nation and take our position as leader once again. If there is one person out there who knows how to get that done, it's Jocelyn Benson. You couldn't ask for better creds on the subject.
Today, as a law professor at Wayne State University Law School, she not only teaches Election law, Jocelyn has also published the first major book on the role of the Secretary of State in enforcing election and campaign finance laws. Benson's book, "State Secretaries of State: Guardians of the Democratic Process," highlights best practices of Secretaries on electoral reform from throughout the country.
From 2002-2004, she served as the Voting Rights Policy Coordinator of the Harvard Civil Rights Project, where she worked on the passage of the Help America Vote Act, the federal law that improved election law standards in the wake of the 2000 Presidential recount. And in 2004 she helped with the Democratic Party’s national voter protection effort, recruiting, selecting and training Voter Protection coordinators in 21 states with the goal of ensuring that the 2004 election was conducted with integrity in accordance with the law.
In 2007 Jocelyn successfully led an effort to block the closing of a Secretary of State branch office in Buena Vista Township, convincing the United State Justice Department that the closure violated the Voting Rights Act. During the 2008 election, she was called to testify before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, where she called on Secretary Land to ban the use of foreclosure lists to challenge voters’ eligibility on Election Day. Benson also developed and supervised two statewide nonpartisan election protection efforts in Michigan, in 2007 and 2008.
Visit Benson's web site to learn more - and go see her when she comes to your town. She's very friendly, very approachable, and she knows her stuff.
And thanks to the MDP for doing this series - it's a breath of fresh air amid the hyper-nonsense of the campaign season. I fully expect them to engage in that nonsense eventually, but for now, the positive approach is a nice change of pace.