Johnson Launches Statewide Tour to Meet with Families, Ask for Their Votes
Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson officially announced her bid for a second term Monday, sharing her vision with voters to build on her success enhancing customer service, protecting the ballot box, fighting fraud and improving the lives of Michiganians.
Not exactly a boring candidate, Ruth shows up in different ways yet always in style.
Johnson’s high-energy, four-stop Campaign Kick-off Tour included motorcycles, buses and boats. Johnson rode a Harley-Davidson Sportster in Waterford, was flanked by a fleet of buses and other motor vehicles in Lansing, met with supporters in Grand Rapids and paddled her kayak in Holland to highlight the many ways her office positively impacts residents across the state. She says:
“We’re working smarter and our customers are seeing the results of what we’ve accomplished with 25 percent less staff than the office had just 10 years ago. We’ve tripled our online services. We’re securing our elections while increasing access to the ballot box. And we’re improving lives through organ donation and ensuring our veterans have access to the benefits they’ve earned and deserve.”
At her first stop, in her hometown of Waterford, Johnson was cheered by supporters, her husband, family and friends. A longtime motorcycle rider and proponent of motorcycle safety, Johnson rode into the event at ABC Harley-Davidson, decked in a black leather jacket, helmet and other safety gear.
Her hometown, she told the crowd, is still a place where neighbors watch out for one another, where people value hard work and grow up learning how to fix what’s broken – all core values she has carried with her through her public service career.
“We grew up a few miles away in a cinder-block house that was about 400 square feet when my parents bought it as part of their American dream. My dad, an immigrant who never did get his high school diploma, was an autoworker. My mom worked at Chrysler, too, painting dashboards as they came down the line.”
Johnson, who put herself through college and graduate school, is a former state representative who led an investigation into government corruption that resulted in jail time for one official. She also served as the Oakland County clerk/register of deeds, where her office’s investigation into election fraud revealed criminal acts by officers of the Oakland County Democrat party.
Johnson’s election reform efforts include establishing Michigan’s first-ever post-election audits, creating the first-ever online training for Michigan poll workers, and working to remove those who have died, moved out of state and who are not U.S. citizens from the voter rolls. She also toughened up campaign contribution reporting rules and made it easier for troops overseas to vote as part of her OPERATION: OUR TROOPS COUNT.
Shortened branch office lines by putting the most popular Secretary of State services online, at ExpressSOS.com. Launched in 2011, the website has handled an incredible 4.5 million transactions.
Launched a new line management system in the busiest branches that allows customers to take a number electronically, so they can run errands while they wait.
Piloted a program with Michigan retail giant Meijer allowing customers in two stores to get their milk, bread, other needs and their license plate tabs in a single stop.
Created a task force with police and prosecutors to fight insurance fraud.
Johnson has also proven her leadership by increasing organ donation in Michigan. With common-sense changes, and at no cost to taxpayers, a record-breaking 1.4 million more people have been added to Michigan’s Organ Donor Registry in the past three years alone.
A second term, Johnson said, will mean a continued focus on customer service, convenience, elections integrity and consumer protection.
“We have a great team in Lansing and despite all of our accomplishments, there’s more we want to do to improve how we serve our customers. I look forward to traveling the state, meeting voters personally and asking for their votes so I can continue this important work.”
And we wish her the best!