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.
✓ 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.
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.
Susan Inman for Secretary of State
“We must make it easier for eligible citizens to vote and not create barriers that prevent people from voting.”
“Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.”Franklin D. Roosevelt
“The vote is the most powerful nonviolent tool we have.”John Lewis
“Here, in this very first paragraph of the Declaration, is the assertion of the natural right of all to the ballot; for how can ‘the consent of the governed’ be given if the right to vote be denied?”Susan B. Anthony