Michigan Secretary of State offers correction to President Trump's tweet on 'absentee ballots'

Posted at 6:09 PM, May 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-20 18:09:00-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — "It's 2020, we're prepared to push back against any efforts to misinform our voters about what we're doing and their rights," said Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson about President Donald Trump's tweet Wednesday morning that contained erroneous information.

Trump tweeted, "Breaking: Michigan sends absentee ballots to 7.7 million people ahead of Primaries and the General Election. This was done illegally and without authorization by a rogue Secretary of State. I will ask to hold up funding to Michigan if they want to go down this Voter Fraud path!"

But it is not ballots that are being sent out. Absentee voter applications are being sent to Michigan voters.

Benson told 7 Action News, "I didn't expect someone with the platform of the presidency would be using that platform to misinform our voters in Michigan this morning about what we were doing."

“By mailing applications, we have ensured that no Michigander has to choose between their health and their right to vote,” said Benson. “Voting by mail is easy, convenient, safe, and secure, and every voter in Michigan has the right to do it.”

Michigan State Representative Ann Bollin, a republican from District 42 who was a clerk for Brighton Township for 16 years, said the handling of applications should have been left to local clerks and she fears Benson sending out the millions of absentee voter applications could lead to mistrust and confusion.

"The best avenue would have been to go to the legislature or to come forward to the legislature right now to get a special request or a bill to allow local clerks to mail, in this specific instance, if there is an emergency, to get those out."

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said Secretary Benson did nothing improper.

Nessel added if President Trump tries to "improperly and illegally withhold federal funds from Michigan, you can be certain that I will sue."

Click on the video to watch Kimberly Craig's report.