‘2022 Will Decide Whether We Have a Democracy in 2024’: Michigan’s Top Election Official Warns of Election Deniers Taking Office


MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace interviewed Michigan’s Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson on Friday after she received the John F Kennedy Profile in Courage award.

“Did you ever think when you embarked on a career in public service that protecting democracy would be so actual, so tactical, so literal?” asked Wallace, noting that Benson won the award for her efforts to defend democracy in her state against pro-Trump efforts to hijack the vote there.

Benson responded by noting her past work regarding hate crimes and civil rights:

You never want to think that, but that’s also what history suggests is the reality. I started my career in Montgomery, Alabama, investigating hate groups and hate crimes throughout the country and it was being in Selma where I was instilled with this deep sense of inspiration and responsibility to continue the work of those who stood on the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge and faced down billy clubs, and threats and violence, so we could have a voting rights act.

You do that knowing that you could similarly face that violence, and you have to be prepared for that if you’re going to stand up for one person, one vote, and that promise in our constitution.

“You are exactly not just the kind of person, but in Michigan specifically, what Donald Trump wants to change for next time, what are your warnings about 2024?” Wallace followed up.

“That 2022 will decide whether we have a democracy in 2024,” Benson responded.

“Our ability to protect and defend democracy in 2020 depended entirely on people of integrity on both sides of the aisle, protecting the will of the people, saying no, when the president called, and said, “find me votes,” certifying elections despite threats and violence and challenges to those certification processes,” she continued.

“So 2022 is when voters will decide who the players are going to be in 2024 and it’s an opportunity for us to choose champions of democracy and reject conspiracy theorists who clearly would not certify an election they don’t agree with,” she added.

“It remains to be seen what voters are going to do, and I’m hopeful that we can make the right choice. It’s our opportunity between now and election day to make clear to voters in states like Michigan and Georgia, Arizona, Nevada, that democracy is on the line, and their vote this year will determine its future,” she concluded, offering a stark warning about the future of American democracy.

Watch the full clip above via MSNBC

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