Your right to vote is my top priority.
Every eligible citizen should be able to exercise his or her right to vote, without obstruction. When we make our voices heard by voting, our democracy is stronger and more inclusive. I will use every resource of the office of Secretary of State to protect that right. How can we do it better?
Remove obstacles to voting. Don’t add new ones.
For far too long, too many voices have not been heard because the voting process can be needlessly inconvenient and, sometimes, even intentionally over-complicated. We must turn this around so the voices of Arkansans can be heard.
✓ Implement a universal “vote by mail” system.
People across the state have expressed concerns about voting access and the vulnerability of our current voting system. With the implementation of a universal Vote by Mail system, every registered voter in Arkansas will be mailed a ballot. Not only will this system eliminate the risk of hacking, but it will also allow people to vote from the comfort of their home.
With less dependence on expensive, unreliable, and mostly outdated voting machines, we can simplify and secure our voting system while also saving Arkansas taxpayers millions of dollars. Voting by mail is the future of our election process. Let’s put Arkansas on the forefront of this issue.
Learn more in the Vote at Home tab on this page.
✓ Cut red tape and unnecessary voter ID rules.
For example, the new requirement to show a government-issued photo ID puts a burden on many Arkansans. If you do not have a driver’s license, the process to get a photo ID for voting purpose costs time and money. I will work to get every eligible voter an ID if they don’t have one.
We are imposing so many unnecessary burdens on voting. I think it’s past time we look toward ways to make voting more accessible and available for all eligible citizens, not make it more restrictive.
✓ Don’t close polling locations, open them.
Polling locations are being closed down across Arkansas in the name of economy. But it is a false economy. Everyone should be able to get to a polling location within a reasonable distance from their home in order to exercise their right to vote, the most basic right of our democracy.
✓ Educate people about the ballot.
Everyone should be able to know what they will be voting on once they step into a voting booth. Voters should have access to information about candidates and issues. Voter education is a fundamental responsibility of the office of Secretary of State.
✓ Modernize the voter registration process.
When you turn 18, or even 17 during an election year, and you are an Arkansas citizen, you should automatically be registered to vote. People moving into the state, and others that need to update their registration, should be able to do so online.
✓ Stop gerrymandering.
To insure that your vote counts, the voting district you live in must be drawn in a fair manner, providing equitable representation regardless of party affiliation. No one party should have all the seats at the drawing table. The Secretary of State sits on the board that draws voting district lines.
✓ Ensure that every county has proper voting machines.
All counties, rural and urban, should have the same voting machines. As it stands now, some counties have state-of-the-art equipment, while others do not. The Secretary of State must work with the counties to see what is needed and help to equalize the access to modern equipment across the state.
✓ Protect every voter’s information.
Your voter information and the results of Arkansas elections are to be protected against misuse, data corruption and the potential for hacking by bad actors. We must take the responsibility of cybersecurity seriously. Our data information systems should be updated and continuously maintained to work for the people, not against them.
Vote by Mail: Higher Turnout, Secure Elections, Lower Cost
Since 2000, over a quarter of a BILLION votes have been cast in the US via ballots delivered directly to the voter. In the 2016 election, ~25% (33 million) were cast this way nationally. And the percentage is growing every year.
Vote by Mail key turnout improvements
In the 100% Vote by Mail states (CO, OR, WA)
- 10% points higher in 2016 general election (82% vs. 72%)
- 17% points higher in 2014 mid-terms (65% vs. 48%)
In 2018 primaries, the eight Vote by Mail “centric” states (100% and >60% absentee)
- >15% points higher turnout (37.5% vs. 22%)
Vote by Mail engages not just voters overall, but especially lower propensity voters
- 2016 Utah general election: 10% points higher with millennials
- 2014 mid-terms: Averaged >6% points higher with Latinx
Vote by Mail is a non-partisan issue
- The eight current VOTE BY MAIL centric states are red, purple and blue (AZ, CA, CO, HI, MT, OR, UT, WA) and more are engaging (AK, MD, ND, NE, WY)
Vote by Mail improves the security and integrity of the vote
- Paper ballots, filled out by the voter, can’t be hacked electronically and are easy to recount, if necessary
- Voter specific bar-coded envelopes both outbound and return link the ballot to an individual voter. Signature matches on each returned vote tie the voter and their vote to their registration.
Vote by Mail saves money by removing polling-place cost duplication
- PEW research on Colorado 2014 showed a $6 savings per voter per election
- Other jurisdictions reporting $2-$5 per voter per election
Vote by Mail is spreading across the county, as more states work to improve voter engagement, election security, and election efficiency.
Information and graphics provided by the National Vote @Home Institute.
Expediting Business & Commerce.
Starting a business in Arkansas requires official forms and paperwork that all businesses and organizations have to file with the Secretary of State’s office. Once again, the job of that office is to remove obstacles, not add new ones.
In order to help our economy grow, the Secretary of State’s office should support businesses and help business owners file the required paperwork. We can do this by:
✓ Streamlining the online filing process.
✓ Restoring great customer service!
Education For A Better Democracy.
The Secretary of State can help people of all ages to know more about Arkansas history, elections, and the importance of voting. With this kind of education comes a sense of pride for our state and for civic duty. We can do this by:
✓ Supplementing the civic education curriculum
Educators need resources that make their job easier and their teaching sound. Through materials such as resource guides and presentations, we can provide more knowledge about history and civics in Arkansas.
✓ Going beyond the doors of the office
The Secretary of State is not confined within the doors of the office when it comes to education. School visits, community meet-ups and professional development throughout the state will allow for expansion of education. No educator should be teaching only from behind a desk.