DES MOINES, IA – Today iVote, the campaign to educate voters about the importance of secretaries of state in protecting voting rights, hosted a Town Hall at the Des Moines Central Library with Iowa Secretary of State candidate Brad Anderson. Brad was joined by the Secretary of State of Minnesota, Mark Ritchie, and the Secretary of State of Missouri, Jason Kander, at a panel on voting rights in Iowa moderated by former Associated Press reporter Mike Glover.
"The office should be approached in a nonpartisan way, period," said Brad Anderson. Anderson has pushed for a series of proposals that will expand voting access for everyone, regardless of party.
Alluding to a series of ethics scandals where Paul Pate used his position as Secretary of State for political purposes when he previously occupied the office, panelists talked about the importance of having the right person in the position.
"It's incredibly important that the Secretary of State take a non-partisan approach to the job. Voters lose confidence in elections if they don't trust the people running them," said Jason Kander, Missouri Secretary of State. "All of Brad Anderson's proposals in this campaign are non-partisan, while Paul Pate has already been found guilty of using the Secretary of State's office for his own personal political gain in the past."
"The office of Secretary of State has the potential to connect people with their government by expanding access to voting, or it can be used for personal gain. It depends on who is occupying the office," added Norm Sterzenbach of iVote. "Unfortunately, we know Paul Pate had to be reprimanded by the state ethics board for using that office for politics."
iVote, a new voting rights campaign dedicated to the powerful notion that every eligible citizen should vote, recently launched an offensive against orchestrated efforts to block people from voting. iVote will target Secretary of State races in Colorado, Nevada, Iowa and Ohio, activating grassroots armies to elect secretaries of state who will protect every American’s access to voting.
The iVote Board of Directors includes Doug Sosnik, Frank Smith, Ellen Kurz, Jeremy Bird, Michael Blake, Rachael Cobb, Ralph Paige, Wendy Smith, Pete Giangreco and Executive Director Steven Walker. iVote is being advised by 270 Strategies, AKPD, David Binder Research, and Greenberg Quinlan Rosner Research.