Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson

Voting booths photo

Michigan will not allow people to openly carry guns at or near polling places on Election Day in an effort to limit voter intimidation, the state’s top election official said Friday.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson sent the guidance to clerks just over a week after members of two anti-government paramilitary groups were charged with taking part in plotting the kidnapping of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Some of the men were charged under federal law and others under state law.

Sen. Ruth Johnson photo
Associated Press

Larger Michigan municipalities could begin processing an expected surge of absentee ballots sooner in the battleground state’s November presidential election under a bill approved Tuesday by the state Senate.

The 34-2 vote in the Republican-led chamber followed months of lobbying from clerks in both parties who warned of significant delays in counting the votes if they must wait until Election Day to open return envelopes. The GOP-controlled House will consider the measure next.

Mike Shirkey photo
Associated Press

A bill that would allow Michigan clerks to start processing absentee ballots before Election Day is not dead, and the August primary legitimized concerns that some officials will not be able to quickly handle a surge of mailed-in ballots during the coronavirus pandemic, a legislative leader said.

U.S. postal mailboxes photo / USPS

A judge has refused to stop the secretary of state from sending unsolicited absentee ballot applications to millions of voters. Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens rejected a request for a preliminary injunction. Stephens says an application is merely an application - and can be thrown away if someone doesn't want to act on it. The plaintiffs, Yvonne Black and Nevin Cooper-Keel, are Republican candidates for the state House. Cooper-Keel said the applications are a ploy to encourage early voting and rob him of an opportunity to campaign.

voting sticker
Vox Efx via Flickr | CC BY 2.0 /

State and local election officials should be forced to remove ineligible voters from the rolls in 16 Michigan counties with “abnormally high” registration levels, a Republican activist argues in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in advance of the 2020 election.

Tony Daunt’s complaint in Grand Rapids federal court alleges that Michigan is violating a federal law that requires states to keep accurate voter registration lists.

President Donald Trump portrait
White House

President Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened to hold up federal funds for two battleground states because they are trying to make it easier to vote during the coronavirus pandemic.

The president’s tweets targeting Michigan and Nevada were his latest salvo against voting by mail, a practice that he has publicly worried will lead so many people to vote that Republicans will lose in November.

Your Vote Counts badge

Michigan's top election official says absentee ballot applications will be mailed to all 7.7 million registered voters for the August primary and November general election.Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced the step Tuesday as the state continues to confront the coronavirus pandemic. She says it will ensure no one "has to to choose between their health and their right to vote." Her office mailed absentee ballot applications to voters in jurisdictions with local elections earlier this month, and there was record turnout.

Jocelyn Benson photo
Patrick Center / WGVU

More than 6,000 people have applied to serve on Michigan's new commission that will draw districts for seats in Congress and the state Legislature. Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson said nearly half of the applications have been processed. Her department is now accepting public comments on a method to identify 200 semifinalists. Ultimately 13 commissioners will be randomly selected: four affiliated with the Republican Party, four affiliated with the Democratic Party and five with no affiliation.

Jocelyn Benson photo
Wikimedia Commons

A new state policy makes it faster and easier for people to get a Michigan ID or driver’s license that matches their gender identity.

       The rule is effective today.

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson ordered the new rule. It says people will no longer have to show a new passport, an amended birth certificate, or a court order to change the designated gender on a state I-D.

“People who would like to correct their sex designations on their IDs will only need to complete a form, come into a branch office, and have their photo taken.”

Republican and Democrat logos

Eighteen Democrats and four Republicans, including President Donald Trump, are currently listed as candidates in Michigan's March primary.

Tuesday was the deadline for leaders of the state Democratic and Republican parties to add names to a list released Friday by Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. They added no new candidates.

Dec. 13 is the deadline for those not listed to file more than 11,000 valid signatures to run.