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Jocelyn Benson

Secretary of State, State of Michigan

Jocelyn Benson is Michigan's 43rd Secretary of State.


In this role, she has become one of the nation’s most prominent leaders in ensuring elections are secure and accessible. Benson’s work overseeing Michigan’s 2020 and 2022 general elections, both of which drew record-breaking turnout and were more secure than any prior election in state history, earned her national recognition, including the John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award and the Presidential Citizens Medal. She also implemented new voting rights for all eligible Michiganders prior to the 2020 election, including the right to vote absentee, and oversaw more than 250 audits after the election, all of which affirmed its integrity and accuracy.


Believing that a healthy democracy is one in which government works for everyone, Benson has also transformed the customer service operations of the Secretary of State’s office. She doubled the number of services available online, installed more than 160 self-service stations statewide, mostly at grocery stores, and ended the take-a-ticket-and-wait system that had resulted in hours-long lines at offices for years. Now, most transactions are conducted without an office visit at all and when residents do visit an office, they are in and out in an average of 20 minutes or less.


A graduate of Harvard Law School and expert on civil rights law, education law and election law, Benson served as dean of Wayne State University Law School in Detroit. When she was appointed dean at age 36, she became the youngest woman in U.S. history to lead a top-100, accredited law school. She continues to serve as vice chair of the advisory board for the Levin Center at Wayne Law, which she founded with former U.S. Sen. Carl Levin. Previously, Benson was an associate professor and associate director of Wayne Law’s Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights.


Benson is the author of State Secretaries of State: Guardians of the Democratic Process, the first major book on the role of the secretary of state in enforcing election and campaign finance laws. She is also a co-founder and former president of Military Spouses of Michigan, a network dedicated to providing support and services to military spouses and their children. In 2015, she was inducted into the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame and in 2016, she became one of a handful of women to have completed the Boston marathon while 8 months pregnant.

Jocelyn Benson
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