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Rep Matt Hall
Rep. Hall: Benson overstepped authority crafting signature verification standards
RELEASE|March 9, 2021
Contact: Matt Hall

State Rep. Matt Hall, of Marshall, today issued the following statement in response to a ruling from Michigan Court of Claims Judge Christopher Murray – stating Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson violated Michigan’s Administrative Procedures Act by setting absent voter ballot signature matching guidelines prior to the 2020 election. As chair of the House Oversight Committee during the 2019-20 legislative term, Hall worked with the Senate Oversight Committee to examine Michigan’s elections processes:

“I’m glad the court sees Secretary of State Benson’s attempts at lawmaking for what they are – clear violations of her authority. If she wants to make changes like these, she needs to work with the Legislature or properly promulgate them through the laws we have on the books – in this case the Administrative Procedures Act.

“The Legislature is an equal branch of government charged with crafting laws. This is not the role of the Secretary of State, and there is a clear process that must be respected. Unfortunately, Secretary of State Benson has a pattern of not respecting that process. She issued a mandatory directive requiring local election officials to apply a presumption of validity to all signatures on absent voter ballots, but there is nothing within state law allowing for that type of power from her position. As a result, this directive was found to be not in accordance with our laws and not valid.

“I will continue working in the Legislature to ensure people have trust in Michigan’s elections going forward.”

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