Jocelyn Benson

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Jocelyn Benson


Jocelyn Benson became Secretary of State of Michigan in 2010. Jocelyn Benson is endorsed by the Secretary of State Project. She was Secretary of State during the Contested 2020 Election.

From her bio at the People For the American Way Action Fund: "Benson is an Associate Professor of Law at Wayne State University Law School and previously worked with organizations such as the Southern Poverty Law Center, the ACLU, and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. A Harvard Law School graduate, she worked at the Harvard Civil Rights Project as the Voting Rights Policy Coordinator, and was a vocal proponent of the Help America Vote Act.[1]

Bio as of 2009

From Jocelyn Benson's personal website as of 2009 when she was running for Secretary of State in Michigan:

"Jocelyn Benson has dedicated her career to working for fair elections. As an election law expert, Benson fights to eliminate barriers to voting and preserve the integrity of our elections. As our Secretary of State, Jocelyn Benson will promote access and accountability. She will advocate for a responsive government that serves all Michigan citizens.
Benson is one of the leading election law experts and educators in the state of Michigan. She is a nationally recognized educator, attorney, and voter advocate dedicated to promoting access and protecting the integrity of the election process.
Prior to attending law school at Harvard, Benson lived in Montgomery, Alabama, the cradle of the Civil Rights Movement. She worked for the Southern Poverty Law Center as an investigative journalist, researching white supremacist and neo-Nazi organizations. By the time she left Alabama to earn her Masters degree as a Marshall Scholar at Oxford University in the UK, she was instilled with a sense of responsibility for continuing the work of the voting rights advocates who risked their lives in Selma, Alabama, in order to ensure the one person, one vote promise in the Constitution became a reality.
During the 2004 Presidential election, Benson was hired to develop the first nationwide Election Protection program for the Democratic National Committee. Benson selected, recruited, and trained Voter Protection coordinators in 21 states. The program resulted in deployment of over 17,000 trained election law lawyers.
Since 2004, Benson has worked with Michigan Democratic Party’s election protection effort in 2006, and has developed and supervised two statewide nonpartisan election protection efforts in Michigan, in 2007 and 2008. During the 2008 election, she was called to testify before the U.S. House Judiciary Committee, where she called on Secretary Land to ban the use of foreclosure lists to challenge voters’ eligibility on Election Day. She is a frequent commentator on voting rights and election law on several local news and radio broadcasts."

Contested 2020 Election

During the Contested 2020 Election, Jocelyn Benson gained national attention for refuting President Trump's efforts to halt the vote counting process in her state, charging that ballot fraud was infecting the counting process. Jocelyn Benson said the lawsuit was "frivolous," and claimed poll workers had been “following every rule meticulously” as they tallied the vote, “transparently with people from both sides of the aisle — both looking on.”[2]

Support from Onward Together

Onward Together supported Jocelyn Benson as a candidate for the 2018 midterm elections.[3]

Fake Tea Party

Republicans and tea party organizations claim that Jocelyn Benson was linked to a fake tea party group called "The Tea Party", "which was unsuccessful in seeking political party status on the November ballot and which has been labeled a fake."[4] According to an article published in October 2010, the GOP leaders "claim that former Oakland County Democratic Party Chairman Michael McGuinness was Benson's former operations director and that McGuinness and former Oakland Democratic Party employee Jason Bauer both contributed to her campaign. They also say Bauer notarized 12 of 23 of the candidate filings for 'The Tea Party group'".

"McGuinness and Bauer both quit their positions with the county Democratic party after allegations of election fraud in the filings of some of the candidates listed with The Tea Party organization." Speculation was that the motive was to split the Republican vote.[5]

DSA connection

The Agenda for the November 4, 2006 Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of America meeting at the Royal Oak Senior/Community Center, 3500 Marais Avenue, included item (9) Jocelyn Benson on “Voter Protection: Making Sure Every Vote Counts”.

At our next general membership meeting, Jocelyn Benson, a law professor at Wayne State University and a board member of the Michigan ACLU, will discuss election fraud in light of the 2000 and 2004 Presidential elections.

Benson worked for the Democratic National Committee as the National Field Director for Election Protection during the 2004 presidential election, organizing and developing a program that trained and placed over 17,000 volunteer lawyers in precincts throughout the nation.

According to Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of America "Benson worked for the Democratic National Committee as the National Field Director for Election Protection during the 2004 presidential election, organizing and developing a program that trained and placed over 17,000 volunteer lawyers in precincts throughout the nation. She has also worked as a summer associate for voting rights and election law for the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, as a legal assistant to Nina Totenberg at National Public Radio, and as an investigative journalist for the Southern Poverty Law Center in Montgomery, AL.[6]

Endorsements

Benson has received the endorsement of EMILY’s List, the Michigan AFL-CIO, the American Federation of Teachers, Democracy for America, the Women Under Forty PAC, U.S. Rep. John Conyers and state Rep. Rashida Tlaib.[7]

People for the American Way support

In 2010 People For the American Way Action Fund supported Jocelyn Benson.[8]

The Justice Caucus

In 2010 The Justice Caucus endorsed Jocelyn Benson in her race for Secretary of State.[9] Paul Stevenson, Administrative Co-Chair of the Justice Caucus commented on Benson,[10]

"Jocelyn Benson is exceptional... Benson created the first nationwide Election Protection program for the Democratic National Committee. She recruited and trained Voter Protection coordinators in 21 states, resulting in the deployment of over 17,000 well trained election law lawyers... Benson has a deep commitment to every person’s right to vote. Her work with the Southern Poverty Law Center informs her vision to ensure that our Constitution’s promise of one person - one vote is a continuing reality. As Voting Rights Policy Coordinator of the Harvard Civil Rights Project, she helped to achieve passage of the landmark Help America Vote Act... Not only is Benson exceptionally qualified for the job, she is an outstanding candidate... She will be an asset to Democratic candidates up and down the ticket and a gift to the people of Michigan."

Arab American Political Action Committee

The Arab American Political Action Committee endorsed Jocelyn Benson for the Nov. 2, 2010 elections.[11]

Donors

A conservative blogger from Michigan compiled donors for Jocelyn Benson in 2010 (commentary included):[12]

Since then, besides a lot of donations from Washington DC, New York, and San Francisco...

External links

References