secretaries of state

Why they
matter

In 39 states, the secretary of state (including two lieutenant governors who act as secretary of state) oversees the state’s elections. One way to do this is by making them fair for everyone, while another is to use the power of the office to screw over minorities (a pattern?). In 2004, African-American counties in Ohio received broken voting machines, as did African-American counties in Michigan in 2016. These counties also received too few voting machines, creating long lines. On college campuses, some schools were given only one working voting machine. Republican secretaries of state have been creating obstacles for minorities and young people for decades because they often vote for Democrats. This year in Georgia, current Secretary of State Brian Kemp is running for governor, but he hasn’t stepped down from his position, so he’s actively overseeing his own election. Between 2012-2016 he also removed 1.5 million voters in Georgia from the rolls, and he recently tried to close 7 of 9 polling places in Randolph County, which has a mainly African-American population. Cool!

help out

How can we fix this?

It’s hard to prosecute secretaries of state for election malpractice, so the easiest way is to elect Democratic secretaries of state who won’t disenfranchise minorities and young people. Of the secretaries of state being decided in 2018, 28 oversee their state’s elections AND will oversee the 2020 election. So if we want the following states to have fair elections in 2020, we have to elect Democratic secretaries of state in 2018: Alabama, Alaska (Lieutenant Governor), Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming. Also, we have to elect Democratic governors in Florida, Texas, and Pennsylvania, because they appoint the secretary of state (who oversees the elections in those states).

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Note: In Texas and Florida, the secretary of state is appointed by the governor, and in Wisconsin the secretary of state does not oversee the elections.

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