Michigan’s top election official had dozens of armed protesters show up outside her home Saturday night wearing clothing in support of President Donald Trump and cursing at her and her family for overseeing the safety and security of the election.
Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson issued a statement Monday in response to dozens of “unambiguous, loud and threatening” Trump supporters showing up at her house to protest the results of the election. Benson said she will not be deterred from “protecting the right to vote of every eligible citizen.” She said the threats shouted outside her home by the armed protesters aren’t just directed at her and her family— they’re also targeting the 5 million voters from Michigan’s November 3 election process.
Alongside Detroit Democratic Representative Cynthia Johnson, Benson is one of several Michigan officials who have been targeted by Trump supporters accusing them baselessly of throwing the election in favor of President-elect Joe Biden.
“As my four-year-old son and I were finishing up decorating the house for Christmas on Saturday night, and he was about to sit down to watch How the Grinch Stole Christmas, dozens of armed individuals stood outside my home shouting obscenities and chanting into bullhorns in the dark of the night,” Benson said in her statement released Monday.
“The individuals gathered outside my home targeted me as Michigan’s Chief Election officer. But their threats were actually aimed at the 5.5 million Michigan citizens who voted in this fall’s election, seeking to overturn their will. They will not succeed in doing so,” she continued.
A Facebook live recording showed much of the demonstration outside her home, which she said “crossed the line” as a blatant attempt at intimidating an elected official. The group could be heard chanting, “Stop the steal” and “We want an audit,” both demands made by the president himself in the weeks since he lost to Biden.
“We are letting her know that we’re not taking this (expletive) election, we are not standing down, we are not giving up, you are not going to take this election from a man that has earned it completely 100% by a freaking landslide,” said Genevieve Peters, one of the protesters, as she walked to Benson’s house. “Let me tell you—this ain’t over.”
Benson went on to describe how she began her career investigating “violent neo-Nazi and white supremacist organizations,” and she keeps the replica of a murdered Detroit woman’s license plate in her office as a reminder.
Newsweek reached out to Benson’s representative as well as Representative Johnson’s for additional remarks Monday morning.
Johnson, among three Democrats on the House Oversight Committee who listened to testimony on election fraud, said she received threatening phone calls over the weekend. Multiple messages from people in and outside of the state appeared to include threats of lynching.
“You should be swinging from a (expletive) rope you Democrat,” said part of a voicemail left on Johnson’s phone. She posted part of the audio recording on Facebook over the weekend.
“Your time is coming…from the f***ing gallows you’ll be hanging,” another voice on Johnson’s phone said.