Jocelyn Benson

After everything that has transpired since, you may not recall that in 2020, when Joe Biden was declared the winner of the Michigan presidential campaign, poll workers checking absentee ballots in downtown Detroit were harassed. Protesters invaded the vote counting centre. They knocked on the windows. They cried, “Stop the count.” It was one of the first areas where supporters of then-President Donald Trump attempted to disrupt the election. Before tomorrow’s primary, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson told our co-host Leila Fadel that she can’t forget what occurred then, and it bothers her today as she works to protect the polls.

JOCELYN BENSON: What was true at the time was that inside our Detroit counting board, where Detroiters, citizens, and poll workers were counting the votes and going through meticulous processes to ensure only valid votes and every valid vote were counted, there were hundreds of observers from both parties already present. As a result, those on the outside said there was no transparency, despite the fact that there was and people were present.

So, in an ideal world, whomever was asking folks to go down to the counting board and try to get in to witness what was going on might have communicated that simple truth. But it wasn’t. We hope that people understand the regulations and procedures that allow them to lawfully watch and not disturb the counting process. That knowledge is a large part of what we are attempting to provide to trustworthy leaders.

LEILA FADEL BYLINE: What hasn’t changed in 2024 – and I realise we’re in primary season, but the expected candidates will remain the same if things continue as they have. And the individual who incited the voters will run again. As secretary of state, as someone who has had people come to your house and call you a traitor and a criminal, what is different about 2024, and how can you attempt to prevent this from occurring again?
BENSON: I believe that the main difference between 2024 and now is our readiness…

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