As election security has become ground zero for much of the anger and vitriol in the country, Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson has paused to say thank you to those charged with that responsibility.Johnson spoke Friday at the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks’ conference in Traverse City, thanking local officials for enforcing safeguards in the election process.

“Our clerks have a track record of working together and communicating, and for being meticulous and vigilant with the processes that protect our elections,” Johnson told the hundreds of clerks present. “Our state and our country are truly indebted to you. Because of your hard work and our ongoing efforts to secure election integrity, Michigan is now looked at as a national leader.” - Michigan Secretary of State Ruth Johnson

In her speech, Johnson updated clerks about the efforts to upgrade election security. Johnson gave more detail about new election equipment to be used statewide later this year for the first time, saying Michigan will be the first state to use all new equipment this year. The Secretary of State also offered more details on her office’s participation in the Michigan Intelligence Operations Center, which brings together federal, state and local officials to quickly identify and respond to potential threats.

While Michigan was not one of the 21 states targeted for attack in 2016, Johnson reiterated all election officials in Michigan have to "remain vigilant and work together to further secure the state’s elections systems". She said Michigan now has $11.2 million to review state and local election systems and further secure them.

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