Michigan Secretary of State

State of Michigan Secretary of State seal

There are a number of state functions impacted by the implementation of safety measures designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

All 131 Michigan Secretary of State branch offices are closed. For the time being, the Secretary of State is unable to provide in-person transactions and renewals by mail. Services are available online at Michigan.gov/SOS, but processing may be delayed.

Jocelyn Benson photo
Wikimedia Commons

Police say a 72-year-old suburban Detroit man has been arrested for making threats against Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. Michigan State Police say investigators found the Groveland Township man had left verbal threats on Benson's voicemail and made similar threats to a person in her office. The man was being held Thursday at the Oakland County Jail on a charge of making a terrorist threat. Police are not yet revealing the nature of the threats. A news release says weapons were seized from the man's home.

Your Vote Counts button

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says her office will take steps to promote college-age voting to resolve a lawsuit in which young Democrats challenged two laws they say discourage them from participating in elections.

Redistricting image

A U.S. Supreme Court justice has denied Republicans' request to delay a trial over whether Michigan's congressional and legislative districts were unconstitutionally gerrymandered.

Monday's decision by Justice Sonia Sotomayor means federal judges will start the trial Tuesday.

GOP lawmakers had asked the high court to stay the proceeding until it rules in redistricting cases from Maryland and North Carolina.

A longtime staffer at the Michigan Secretary of State's office has been appointed director of the Michigan Bureau of Elections. Secretary of State Ruth Johnson announced Wednesday that Sally Williams will replace Chris Thomas, who retires this week after 36 years as director. Williams currently serves as the bureau's Election Liaison Division director, assisting county clerks and local clerks in their election duties, and oversees training of local election officials. Before that, she was an assistant to the chief of staff and as a project manager.


Fraud continues to be a growing threat in our nation and in our state.  That’s why the Michigan, Secretary of State, Ruth Johnson is making it easier for residents to report fraud.  Her office just announced that a telephone tip line is now available.  

“We’ve had growing amounts of people contact us, with allegations of fraud and we wanted to put out a tip line allowing people to know how to contact us.”

That’s Fred Woodhams… Spokesperson for Secretary of State, Ruth Johnson’s office.  The Tip Line allows callers to report suspicious or suspected fraudulent activity.

Election polling station sign
Wikimedia | Tom Arthur | CC BY 2.0

State officials say any federal investigation will not turn up widespread vote fraud in Michigan, despite unsubstantiated accusations by President Trump that millions of people voted illegally.

President Trump says illegal voting kept him from winning the popular vote, but there’s no evidence of that. State officials – who are also Republicans – say that’s certainly not true in Michigan.

Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, the state’s top elections official, Michigan has done a very good job of clearing people who have died or moved from its voter files.

Selfie photo
Pixabay | CC BY 3.0 / pixabay.com

Some voters like to take “selfies” with their ballots on Election Day.

But, in Michigan, that’s against the law.

A federal appeals court just struck down New Hampshire’s ban on ballot “selfies” as a violation of free speech rights. But that ruling does not apply in Michigan, which has a law that bars publicly displaying a ballot by a voter.

New Hampshire is part of the First Circuit US Court of Appeals. Michigan is part of the Sixth Circuit.


Secretary of State, Ruth Johnson, talks about the latest expansion of the electronic sign-in program designed to save customers time by allowing a check-in at branch offices via electronic device.


There might not be many more specialty Michigan license plates used to raise funds for organizations.

The state Senate may consider capping the number of new fundraising plates at 10 after the House approved that limit last week.

Republican state Rep. Peter Pettalia, who sponsored the bill, says Michigan taxpayers shouldn't have to pay for causes they might not agree with.

The Senate isn't expected to take up the issue this week, but could later.

Michigan's 15 public universities all have fundraising plates.