Secretary of State - Democratic Primary | Kentuckians For The Commonwealth

Secretary of State - Democratic Primary

Geoff Sebesta

Political party: Democrat

Campaign website: http://unnecessaryg.com/politicsky/S4SoS/index.htm

Campaign Facebook: Facebook

Campaign Twitter: Twitter

Question 1:

What is your vision for strengthening civic participation in Kentucky? How will our commonwealth be better in four years if you are elected?

The Secretary of State is in charge of making sure that people can vote; it is up to the candidates to make them want to vote.  I intend to run an entertaining and extremely challenging campaign, but upon winning, my role will change substantially.  Over my four years in office there will be more felons who can vote, more early voting, more absentee voting, and more people able to participate fully in our closed primary system, but during my term it will be entirely up to those running for election to make people want to vote.  I will practice scrupulous fairness and avoid even the appearance of partisan behavior. I will run the most transparent administration in the history of the office, with instant publication of all official correspondence and a complete refusal to receive any privileged or secret information, as I am against all government secrecy in principle. I will use the powers of the Kentucky Constitution to expand the Secretary's reporting practices as far into the office of the Governor as I possibly can. Finally, I will greatly increase the access of Kentuckians to business incorporation and other official business services.

Heather French Henry

Political party: Democrat

Campaign website: https://www.heatherfrenchhenrysos.com/

Campaign Facebook: Facebook

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Question 1:

What is your vision for strengthening civic participation in Kentucky? How will our commonwealth be better in four years if you are elected?

Kentucky needs to make civics a required class. The state must partner with our teachers to provide them the tools and programing to educate our students about the impact government has on their community.

Kentucky needs to make it easier to vote. It is important to expand Election Day hours. Too many voters struggle to make it to vote because of other obligations. In addition, the state should extend the early voting period, and require county clerks to stay open on weekends during that early voting period. Kentucky needs to make it easier to vote by mail—what’s better than voting in your pajamas from the comfort of your own home? The Secretary of State’s office should do more across the state to register voters by targeting residents through social media, and holding voter registration drives across the state.

Jason Griffith

Political party: Democrat

Campaign website: http://www.jasonsgriffith.com/

Campaign Facebook: Facebook

Campaign Twitter: Twitter

Question 1:

What is your vision for strengthening civic participation in Kentucky? How will our commonwealth be better in four years if you are elected?

The General Assembly passed Senate Bill 159 in 2017 which requires high school students to pass a civics exam. However, people don’t become engaged by taking a test about government. The study of government and the active work of becoming engaged citizens are two different things. Civics has been a passive course of study for far too long.

Increasing civic engagement and voter turnout is a big challenge. As a twenty-five year public school teacher, I can tell you that people do as adults what they learn when they are children.  In order to improve civic engagement, young citizens need to be actively involved in the election process.

That is why I would suggest a new award for high school students, the Commonwealth Civics Citation which can added to transcripts of graduating seniors. To receive this honor, students would have to pass the Kentucky Civics Test and also complete eight hours of volunteer service in either registering citizens to vote or by helping on Election Day at a polling place. Students who help others engage in the democratic process will be equipped and encouraged to join in themselves.

Jason S. Belcher

Political party: Democrat

Campaign website: https://jasonforkentucky.com/

Question 1:

What is your vision for strengthening civic participation in Kentucky? How will our commonwealth be better in four years if you are elected?

My vision is encapsulated in three words:  Stand Together Kentucky.  The cornerstone of the idea is that we are all ambassadors.  When we speak to someone who has a different political view than we do, or who belongs to a different group than our own, whether we know it or not we are an ambassador.  Being a good ambassador means speaking with respect and listening to what the other person is saying.  Spreading the Stand Together Kentucky philosophy across the state will be my first step.  The second step is growing the E-Commonwealth, which means leveraging technology to facilitate not just voting but civic discourse.  We have a vending machine model of government right now, which means we insert money in the form of taxes and hope to get services in return.  But instead of a broken vending machine what we want is a modern online platform, and that is what the E-Commonwealth will deliver.  An E-Commonwealth means faster and more efficient government services.