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Bizon calls on secretary of state to reopen local offices

LANSING, Mich. Sen. John Bizon, M.D. on Wednesday called on Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson to reopen local branch offices for walk-in service.

“As we have seen with recent CDC guidance, it is now safe for people who are vaccinated against COVID-19 to more confidently get back to a more regular way of living,” said Bizon, R-Battle Creek. “The governor has lifted her restrictions, and businesses and places of worship are more broadly opening. At this point, there is absolutely no reason why secretary of state offices can’t be open for walk-in service.”

Last week, as part of the fiscal year 2022 state budget approved by the Senate, the SOS would be required to open branch offices that have been closed to walk-in customers over the past year. Prior to the Senate action, Benson announced a plan to continue only serving residents with an appointment even after the COVID-19 pandemic is over.

Bizon said the appointment-only policy is hurting district residents who are struggling to get IDs, renew driver’s licenses and license plate tabs, transfer titles, take exams and conduct other important business, and customers who get appointments are being asked to fill out refund forms for unwarranted late fees despite physically being at a branch.

“Secretary Benson’s policy of only servicing customers who have prescheduled appointments is no longer necessary and worse, is causing problems for people in the 19th Senate District,” Bizon said. “My office has received a large volume of complaints from constituents on both sides of the political spectrum who are dissatisfied with the long wait times for scheduling appointments at SOS offices. Secretary Benson needs to reopen our SOS offices now so they can get back to working for the people, not the other way around.”