Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson declined to testify before the Senate Oversight Committee on Monday, April 5, the topic of discussion was related to the 2020 election.
This was the second time Benson rejected appearing for testimony. Her first rejection dated back to December last year reported WBCK.
Benson’s spokesperson sent a statement to the Senate Oversight Committee’s chair, state Sen. Ed McBroom (R-Mich.-Vulcan-38), informing the cause of her absence was out of caution that it would be turned into a forum for spreading inaccurate information about the 2020 presidential election on November.
“I am declining to participate at this time because I have concerns that the hearing could further the lies about the election that continues to undermine Michigan voters’ faith in the outcome,” the spokesperson wrote. The statement continued that the consecutive legislative introduced lately on voting restrictions are built upon the basis of that “rationale.”
The statement said Benson disagrees with the Committee’s members’ efforts to enact the recent voting restriction bills, which under her perspective “undermine Michigan voters’ state constitutional right to vote absentee.” The Secretary of State feels that “she cannot in good conscience participate in such a charade.”
Director of Elections Jonathan Brater was chosen to be present in front of the Committee in her absence. The spokesperson detailed that since the director “directly manages” the department’s voting procedures, he qualifies to testify on her behalf.
McBroom wrote a letter of response to the decline on Monday (the official date was April 6), content shared by radioresultsnetwork, criticized that her unwillingness to testify “is disappointing and perplexing.”
He insisted again in the letter for her to attend the Committee as the department’s election and actions need her approval. Her presence, therefore, is essential to ensure the Committee’s “commitment to openness and transparency.”
Benson’s constant avoidance did not deter McBroom. He described in the letter that she blocked nearly all attempts from the state Senate to communicate with her. He continued by inviting her to present on April 20, noting that he is open to a pre-committee meeting and requesting a convenient date in her reference.