Secretary of state elections aren’t at the top of the ballot, but they should be top of mind this fall. Republicans are doing everything they can to undermine democracy and lock in their ill-gotten majorities by depriving people of color and Democratic-leaning constituencies of their right to vote. When they aren’t busy gerrymandering, they’re purging voter rolls, reducing polling place hours, and pushing voter ID laws.
And the GOP assault on voting rights isn’t just taking place at the state level. Under Donald Trump and Attorney General Jeff Sessions, multiple, ongoing attempts to restrict ballot box access and erode basic election fairness are coming from the very top levels of U.S. government.
Democrats, however, are fighting to make voting easier, and secretaries of state, as the top election officials in each state, play a huge role in that battle. All too often, however, these races don’t get the attention they deserve.
Currently, 28 Republicans occupy secretary of state offices, while Democrats hold just 17. But that means the GOP is defending far more seats than we are this cycle, so we’re on offense. And that gives us a chance to shift those numbers in progressives’ direction and better protect—and expand—the voting rights of millions of Americans.
To help in this fight, Daily Kos is pleased to endorse secretary of state candidates in six states:
Give $1 to each of these candidates to fight for fairer elections and end GOP voter suppression!
Voting rights in each of these states has suffered in the hands of GOP election officials. In Arizona, voters waited up to seven hours to vote in the presidential primary in 2016, with many giving up and leaving without casting a ballot. In Colorado, the Republican incumbent actively opposed attempts to make voting easier, including same-day registration and universal vote-by-mail. In Iowa, the sitting secretary of state failed to count almost 6,000 absentee ballots in a single county in 2016.
In Michigan, Republicans have repeatedly tried to eliminate straight-ticket voting, which would lead to longer lines in predominantly African American precincts. In Nevada, the Republican incumbent purged voter rolls and turned over voters’ personal information to Trump’s sham voting commission. And in Ohio, the GOP candidate has a long history of supporting voter suppression legislation and tried to eliminate a full week of early voting.
These attacks on ballot box access and voting rights are an affront to democracy. But the Democrats running to end Republican control of these offices don’t just want to undo the transgressions of their predecessors; they have visions for the future.
The dramatic steps these candidates plan to implement to improve elections include stemming the tide of dark money flowing into elections and pushing for real campaign finance reform at the state level; implementing automatic voter registration; increasing turnout among voters of color and other communities often underrepresented at the ballot box; improving election security to protect both voters’ personal data and the integrity of elections; and fighting for fair redistricting.
Republicans hate all of these ideas, of course, because they’d increase voter turnout—and they’ve shown there’s nothing they fear more than a bigger electorate. So we know they’ll go to every extreme to hold on to these crucial posts, which is why we’re going to have to fight like hell to elect all of these Democrats and ensure the future of fair elections.
Contribute $1 today to each of these progressive candidates for secretary of state!