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Michigan Secretary of State at odds with Republican lawmakers over attending hearing

steve carmody
Michigan Radio

Michigan’s Secretary of State is at odds with State Senate Republicans over appearing before a committee to testify on election security.

The state Senate Oversight Committee is scheduled to meet April 20.

State Director of Elections Jonathan Brater is scheduled to appear.  But Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has declined.

State Sen. Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan) this week sent another invitation to Benson to appear before the committee.

“While the committee will benefit from having Director Brater there to provide details on certain aspects of managing election-related actions taken by the department, I believe it is imperative that the State’s chief election officer, ultimately elected to and charged with making the final decisions, be present as well. This is precisely why my invitation was specific to having both of you attend.”

But Benson is unlikely to change her mind.

Benson spokesman Jake Rollow says the Secretary of State’s office has “worked closely” with the committee. But Rollow says there have been issues.

“The Oversight Committee and its members have on several occasions taken action and made statements to undermine public faith in our democracy by spreading misinformation about the 2020 elections.”

The friction between the Secretary of State and legislators come as Republican lawmakers are pushing a package of legislative changesto Michigan’s election laws.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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