This morning, I was in Lansing to speak to the Michigan Republican State Committee. Thank you to Chairman Ron Weiser and Co-Chair Amanda Van Essen Wirth for the opportunity to address the members and to Mary Ann Rankey for the great introduction.
I also want to say Thank You to the members of the State Committee for all of the work they do to keep Michigan RED!
I would like to share some highlights of my remarks from this morning:
The campaign to be Michigan’s next Secretary of State is serious business. It requires real discussions and debate on the issues impacting Michigan’s electoral process and how best to manage the $250 million budget appropriated by the state legislature.
I pride myself on running a positive campaign focused on my platform of Security, Optimization, and Stability; in fact, the Secretary of State’s race may be the most civil campaign of the 2018 cycle.
That’s not to say that I will not have a respectful discussion over plans and policy differences between myself and my opponents.
For example, one of my opponents has been touting a 6-point Voter Integrity plan; however, there is nothing in the plan that is new or innovative. I think we can all agree that, as Republicans, we have always been for:
- Mandatory photo ID
- Removal of ineligible voters
- Requiring voters be US citizens in order to cast a ballot.
In fact, half of my opponents plan has already been implemented by Secretary Ruth Johnson over the course of her 8 years in office, including:
- Use of the Social Security database to remove over 500,000 voters who have passed away.
- Completed 1500 post-election audits
- Participation in Interstate Crosscheck, a multi-state partnership, which helped to remove almost 200,000 voters registered in multiple states from the rolls
My plan, “One Citizen, One Vote”, will build off of the good work of Secretary Johnson to keep our elections secure.
- Increasing elections training for clerks and poll workers
- Recruiting additional poll workers to help with understaffed precincts on Election Day.
- Joining ERIC, as a supplement to Interstate Crosscheck. As well as forging partnerships with Secretaries of States across the nation to remove voters registered in more than one state.
Another area we all agree on is that wait times in branch offices are too long. While I am a proponent of using today’s technology to reduce the wait time in branch offices, one of my opponents has been saying at events that “technology isn’t the answer.”
Advancements like Mi-Time, the appointment service which holds your spot in line so you do not have to wait at the branch office, have become very popular. It gives customers the freedom to run errands rather than sit in a crowded room waiting for their number to be called. Instead of building on this innovated solution, my opponent looked back to the 80’s to promote ideas that Michiganders first rejected under the Richard Austin administration.
- Increasing online services
- Introducing an ExpressSOS app for your smart phone
- Expanding Mi-Time into more branch offices
Simply put, for today’s modern times, Michigan’s next Secretary of State needs to have the experience and background to put forth bold solutions that incorporate the technological tools Michiganders rely upon in their everyday life.
As I said, there is room for healthy debate and discussion during this campaign and I welcome the opportunity to highlight the differences between myself and my opponents. I will continue to do so in a respectful manner and I hope my opponents do the same.
Mary Treder Lang, CPA