Election security concerns Michiganders before March primary

    Susan J. Demas

    Early voting began on Jan. 25 in Michigan. A recent survey shows 40% of Michiganders want election security to be the state’s main focus going into the March 10 primary. 

    According to the poll, which was conducted by Washington, D.C.-based analytics firm Lincoln Park Strategies on behalf of the State Innovation Exchange (SiX), Michigan residents want to see improvements in the voting process, security and protections for voters from misinformation online.

    The survey included several proposals for system improvements, but at least 70% of respondents said they want prioritize increased oversight of voting machine vendors, increased transparency of online ads and additional funding for security equipment.

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    Proposal 3 of 2018 made possible absentee voting for any reason, straight-ticket voting and voter registration up to the day of the election.

    Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson has led initiatives to increase confidence in the voting process, including appointing an Election Security Commission and the first-ever elections security expert to help coordinate efforts. 

    “Our Secretary of State and the clerks who are on the frontline of defending democracy are taking these threats seriously,” said state Rep. Vanessa Guerra (D-Saginaw), House Elections and Ethics Committee minority vice chair. “As lawmakers, we must not let up on identifying these risks —including coordinated misinformation campaigns and voter suppression — and taking strong steps to guard against them.”

    Allison Donahue
    Allison Donahue covers education, women's issues and LGBTQ issues. Previously, she was a suburbs reporter at the St. Cloud Times in St. Cloud, Minn., covering local education and government. As a graduate of Grand Valley State University, she has previous experience as a freelance researcher for USA Today and an intern with WOOD TV-8. When she is away from her desk, she spends her time going to concerts, comedy shows or getting lost on hikes in different places around the world.