Michigan secretary of state responds to Trump: ‘We sent applications, not ballots’

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson (D) responded to President Trump after he threatened to withhold federal funding to the state over officials mailing out applications for absentee ballots.

President Trump tweeted early on Tuesday claiming that Michigan sent “absentee ballots to 7.7 million people ahead of Primaries and the General Election.” He alleged that the move was done “illegally by a rogue Secretary of State.” 

Benson responded to the president, saying, “Hi! I also have a name, it’s Jocelyn Benson. And we sent applications, not ballots. Just like my colleagues in Iowa, Georgia, Nebraska and West Virginia,” in a tweet. 

Benson also said in a statement Tuesday that sending mail-in applications to voters in the Wolverine State would ensure that they can cast their ballots safely amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“By mailing applications, we have ensured that no Michigander has to choose between their health and their right to vote,” Benson said. “Voting by mail is easy, convenient, safe, and secure, and every voter in Michigan has the right to do it.” 

All of the states Benson cited in her tweet Tuesday have GOP secretaries of state. 

Trump has frequently opposed expanding mail-in voting across the country. He has made unsubstantiated claims that the ballots have spurred voter fraud and called the method “corrupt.” 

Trump also tweeted Tuesday threatening to suspend federal funding to Nevada. The state is set to hold a mail-in primary election, which Trump alleged would create “a great Voter Fraud scenario for the State and the U.S.”  

Democratic lawmakers have backed mail-in procedures during the pandemic. The $2 trillion coronavirus relief legislation Trump signed into law in late March grants states $400 million to prepare for health concerns during primaries and the November general election.

Trump is set to travel to Michigan Wednesday to visit a Ford manufacturing plant in Ypsilanti, Mich. He is expected to thank the company’s for producing ventilators to help patients hospitalized with coronavirus infections.

Tags Coronavirus Donald Trump mail-in voting Michigan

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