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City Clerk Benjamin Marentette appointed by Michigan Secretary of State to Michiganís Election Modernization Team

by Katy Garavaglia
Wednesday, February 20, 2019


City Clerk Benjamin Marentette
City Clerk Benjamin Marentette


Subject:          City Clerk Benjamin Marentette
                        appointed by Michigan Secretary
                        of State to Michigan’s Election
                        Modernization Team

Primary          Benjamin Marentette, 
Contact:         City Clerk, 

Issued:            February 20, 2019

Benjamin Marentette, City Clerk for the City of Traverse City, has been appointed by Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to Michigan’s Election Modernization Team. The team Marentette is joining… “will develop a proactive, innovative and comprehensive modernization plan for Michigan’s elections” as indicated in a letter to him from the Secretary of State.

The team will also work to implement the changes to the State of Michigan Constitution which were approved by Michigan’s voters at the November 2018 election. These changes enshrined a number of voting initiatives relating to Michigan’s elections and include: 

  • Automatic voter registration with Secretary of State transactions
  • Same-day voter registration – joining at least 17 other states which allow same-day voter registration
  • Absentee voting for all
  • Straight-ticket voting
  • Post-election audits for election integrity
  • Constitutionalizing existing law by providing that military members and overseas voters receive an absentee ballot at least 45 days before the election

The team will also work with the Secretary of State and Michigan Bureau of Elections to propose solutions to outstanding challenges.   The team will include national experts in elections and election scholars as well as a select number of election officials in Michigan.   The team will specifically develop and assist in the implementation of changes to Michigan’s election laws to make it easier to vote and harder to cheat, increasing turnout, improving efficiencies and cutting costs.

Marentette is moved by the opportunity to have a meaningful impact on the future of Michigan’s elections and indicated, “It’s a dream to be able to help shape – for the better – how we ensure democracy in Michigan is open, fair, modern, and one in which it is easy to participate.  I’m delighted to be able to work with our Secretary of State and others who have a deeply important responsibility to providing completely accessible and secure elections.” 

“We are very proud of Mr. Marentette’s commitment to bettering not only Traverse City, but the entire State of Michigan through, among many things, his expertise in local elections. He is dedicated to improving the efficiency and security of the entire election process, and will be a great asset to this team of officials from around the state” says City Manager Marty Colburn.

Traverse City Mayor Jim Carruthers agrees, “The people of Michigan made their wishes very clear through the November 2018 election results, and I have no doubts that our City Clerk Benjamin Marentette will do an outstanding job of bringing those wishes into reality as a part of the Election Modernization Team.”