SOS responds to concerned branch workers

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redistricting commission application

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson holds a press conference in Grand Rapids Oct. 29, 2019, to formally announce the application process for the state’s bipartisan redistricting commission.

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Some Secretary of State branch workers are sharing concerns for their safety as COVID-19 cases continue to increase in Michigan.

Last week, Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson limited in-person services for three weeks at SOS branches.

Branch workers, who asked to remain anonymous, told News 8 they worry about contracting the virus from those who have set up an appointment.

“The policy of ‘appointment only’ has reduced the number of customers we see in the branch daily. That being said, on Tuesday, I processed well over 100 face to face transactions. The numbers have been increasing since then and many of the transactions have been considered ‘non-critical’ under the Secretary’s COVID-19 guidelines,” one branch worker said.

 A spokesperson for the Secretary of State sent News 8 a statement Friday afternoon:

“Staff across the state have shown outstanding dedication to service at this unprecedented time. As Secretary Benson and other senior members of her administration have visited offices this week, staff have said they’ve been thanked by first responders, grocery store drivers, and medical personnel who appreciated that we’re enabling them to continue doing their jobs. We have ordered gloves and additional soap and other hygiene supplies and will be further reducing our branch offerings to critical services. In the meanwhile, Secretary Benson continues to work with Governor Whitmer and her administration to monitor public health statewide and strike the right balance of health protection and critical service provision.”

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