Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson are asking a federal judge to toss a challenge the state’s new redistricting law. 

The amendment to create a new redistricting commission was adopted last year by voters. The amendment says former elected officials, party activists, and their relatives are not eligible to serve.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Michigan's top election official is seeking public input on proposed application language and eligibility guidelines for people wanting to sit on a new commission that will draw congressional and legislative lines in 2020 and 2021. 

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson posted the language and guidelines online Thursday, and met with reporters to explain the process.

The deadline to weigh in is Aug. 9.

The applications will be made available starting in September and must be submitted before next June.

DETROIT, MI (MPRN)--   State officials in Michigan are blasting the US Supreme Court decision to reject cases involving partisan gerrymandering.

Michigan’s Secretary of State fears the ruling will have a chilling effect on challenges to government over-reach.

The High Court ruled it had no business deciding whether political boundaries were unfairly drawn because federal courts should not decide political questions. That likely includes a lower court decision that Michigan’s legislative map was gerrymandered.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Republicans in the state Legislature are taking on Attorney General Dana Nessel over a law she says is unconstitutional. 

Lawmakers announced Wednesday that they’ve filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson for not implementing a 2018 ballot petition law. The law adds additional requirements for collections of signatures to get a measure on the ballot.

Republican Representative Jim Lower sponsored the original bill that became law. He says there’s a lot of ambiguity over how much weight the AG’s opinion really has.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The future of a ballot-signature law passed last year is unclear. 

Wednesday Attorney General Dana Nessel said that parts of the law that add requirements to the ballot signature process are unconstitutional. Now Republican lawmakers - and others - are working on their next steps.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey says he’s waiting to see if Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson actually follows through on the order before deciding what to do.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   The leader of the state Senate Republicans says he’s not in favor of the Secretary of State’s call for candidates to disclose their financial information.

Last month, Jocelyn Benson said she wants the Legislature to pass bills that would require elected officials to disclose any outside income, investments, travel or gifts they got as candidates or after they were elected.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has agreed to settle a lawsuit over a ban on so-called ballot selfies. 

Joel Crookston, a voter in the Kalamazoo area, sued in 2016 to try to stop Michigan's ban on taking photos of marked ballots or publicly exposing them.

Lawyers won't talk about the deal until details are filed in federal court on May 8.

But a court filing last week suggests there will be an easing of the ban. The state said it wanted to avoid "any confusion" in polling places and wait until after local elections are held on May 7.

MARQUETTE, MI--   State Representative Sara Cambensy is hosting a town hall meeting on government transparency in Marquette Wednesday. 

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson will be at the meeting to discuss the funding of political campaigns and ballot initiatives, conflicts of interests for public leaders, and who is lobbying public officials.

Cambensy and Benson are encouraging residents to share their ideas on how to improve public trust in state government.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   Michigan’s new secretary of state, Jocelyn Benson, has released details of her personal finances. 

But she says this sort of disclosure should be required of all state elected officials.

Benson, a Democrat, says Michigan suffers from low trust of public officials, and it will be up to public officials to help restore people’s confidence in state government.

“There’s a reason why 48 other states and the federal government require this of their elected officials,” she says.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has put together a committee to advise her administration and Michigan's Elections bureau on election reforms.

Benson's office says the Election Modernization Advisory Committee includes county, city and township clerks from across the state, Michigan-based voting rights advocates, and local and national election experts.