Lansing — She is no W.B. Yeats, but Michigan residents can listen to Secretary of State Ruth Johnson reading limericks in honor of St. Patrick’s Day and filing government forms online.

Poetry and bureaucracy usually don’t mix (unless you like Franz Kafka), but on a state-run website under a tab titled “radio actualities” – presumably because they’re no longer mere potentialities – anyone can hear Johnson enthusiastically reading the limericks, which urge Michigan residents to use the office’s online services.

Johnson told The News Friday that she wants to encourage more residents to use online services, which helps reduce lines at Secretary of State’s offices around the state and avoids a potential fee increase.

It’s not immediately clear to The Detroit News who wrote the limericks. Johnson spokesman Fred Woodhams said he would “pass along” questions about the source of lyrics. The text of the poems are below:

I’m the SOS who tries to rap a beat.

No other singing SOS can compete.

I’m saving you time.

It’s the reason I rhyme.

So ditch the lines and hop online!


Nobody likes to wait in line.

There are better ways to spend your time.

So skip the trip.

And believe this tip. is oh-so fine!

It’s not the first time Johnson has tried to get people to file forms online rather than in person. Earlier this year she also touted how convenient it is to hop online in a cutesy video commercial that included a kangaroo that Johnson referred to as “Kangaruth.”

Johnson, the former Oakland County clerk, was elected secretary of state in November 2010 and will be term-limited out of office at the end of 2018. She unveiled online services for SOS transactions in 2011, touting fewer hassles and no lines for license renewals, changing addresses and copies of vehicle registrations.

Read or Share this story: