Securing the integrity of Michigan’s elections

Published 8:51 am Thursday, October 4, 2018

This is my last year as your Secretary of State and I am proud of what we have done to promote voter registration and secure the integrity of our elections.

Because of our efforts, USA Today has ranked Michigan number one in the nation for getting eligible people registered to vote. There are currently 7.4 million Michiganians registered to vote in 2018 and we are ranked in the top 25 percent in the nation for voter turnout. Over the last 7 years we have registered 4.9 million voters in Michigan. In the August 2018 Primary 2.1 million Michigan voters broke the turnout record with an increase of 12 percent since the 2014 election.

It’s clear Michiganians are engaged in our elections process and I am proud that they have a secure elections system which guarantees that their vote counts on election day.

In my administration, we’ve worked on election integrity since day one. PEW rates Michigan among top states for conducting elections, thanks in large part to our local clerks.

In just over seven years we have removed 1.2 million names from the Qualified Voter File including 604,532 who are deceased, 144, 303 who moved out of state, and 3,505 who were non-citizens.

We have invested $40 million to purchase state-of-the-art voting machines for all 83 Michigan counties and we have invested 11.2 million dollars in upgrades and security measures to make sure our current and ongoing elections process is secure.

Michigan has become a model for other states for post-election audits and ballot validation through a hand count process. We have conducted 1,787 post-election audits. We have helped train 30,000 poll workers and we have expanded training for 1,520 local clerks. And we have replaced a 20-year-old qualified voter file with a more secure system. I am happy to add that we have guaranteed the use of paper ballots in Michigan’s elections, making sure the we have a paper trail for every vote in our state.

Our administration has set goals and we have met them. I am so pleased with our team and all the work we have accomplished in the last seven and a half years.

Every Michiganian can feel confident in the security and integrity of our state’s elections system. It is a legacy that I am happy to leave behind as I finish out my second term as your Secretary of State. Thank you for putting your trust in me and my team with your vote. It has been an honor serving you.

Ruth Johnson is the Michigan Secretary of State.