electionlineWeekly’s 2016 Rundown of State Election Officials on the Ballot


Elections 2016 Card with Bokeh Background

[Image via teachthevote]

In some states, election officials aren’t just in charge of ballots this November, they’re on them … and electionlineWeekly’s Mindy Moretti has a quick recap of the various races nationwide in 2016:

The top elections official spot is on the ballot in eight states this November with the fate of at least one more depending on what happens in other races on the ballot.

Of the eight races — Missouri, Montana, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Vermont, Washington and West Virginia — four of the seats are open. In Missouri Jason Kander is seeking a U.S. Senate seat, in Montana Linda McCullough is term limited and in New Mexico and Oregon Brad Winter and Jeanne P. Atkins were both appointed to complete the terms of the previous secretary of state. [The ninth, New Hampshire’s Secretary of State, is appointed by the state legislature.] 

This is just a brief look at all the candidates with links to their campaign websites where available. If the all the candidates in a race provided their position on election issues we gave a brief synopsis and link where available.

Jay Ashcroft (R) — Ashcroft, son of former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft is an attorney and has worked as a defense contractor and an engineering professor. On the issues, Ashcroft has been an outspoken proponent of voter ID and also believes in fair ballot language and increasing election security.

Chris Morrill (Lib)— Morrill is a former educator and has worked in the financial and insurance industry as well. He previously ran for State Senate in 2004. On this issues, Morrill is opposed to voter ID, is a proponent of paper ballots and believes that any voter fraud should be aggressively investigated.

Robin Smith (D) — Smith is a former television anchor, working for KMOV in St. Louis for more than 40 years. On the issues, Smith is opposed to voter ID.

Monica Lindeen (D) — Linden was elected State Auditor in 2008 and serves the Commissioner of Securities and Insurance.

Roger Roots (Lib) — Root is an attorney and also has a PhD in sociology. He previously ran for secretary of state in 2012 and U.S. Senate in 2014.

Corey Stapleton (R)— Stapleton is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and spent more than a decade serving in the Navy. He was elected to the State Senate in 2000 and 2004.

New Mexico
Nora Espinoza (R) — Espinoza is a former teacher and state representative. On the issues, Espinoza supports bringing election code into compliance with existing case law.

Maggie Toulouse Oliver (D) — Toulouse Oliver has served as the Bernalillo county clerk since 2007. On the issues, Toulouse Oliver supports campaign finance reform working with local elections officials on fair elections.

Brad Avakian (D) — Avakian is currently Oregon’s labor commissioner. Prior to that he served as a legislator and civil rights attorney. On the issues, Avakian supports a plan to create a youth voting program, expanding Motor Voter and providing postage-paid ballot envelopes.

Sharon Durbin (Lib)— Durbin is a former attorney and prosecutor and previously ran for office in 2014.

Dennis Richardson (R) — Richardson served in Vietnam and is a former trial lawyer. He served on the Central Point City council and elected to the Legislature in 2002. On the issues Richardson is committed to working with county clerks on inactive voters, wants to streamline the initiative process and wants to reform the state voter pamphlet.

Utah [Lieutenant Governor]
Kim Bowman (D) — Bowman is the manager of the Division of Health System Innovation and Research at the University of Utah School of Medicine. He is a captain in the United States Air Force Reserve and a member of the Air Force Judge Advocate General’s Corps.

Spencer Cox (R)—Cox is the incumbent lieutenant governor and before that served in the Utah House of Representatives.

Barry Short (Lib) — Short is a self-employed business owner and a member of the Utah Society of the Sons of the American Revolution.

Jim Condos (D)—is the incumbent secretary of state. Under Condos’ leadership, Vermont became one of only five states to authorize automatic voter registration.

Mary Alice Herbert (Liberty Union) — Herbert is a retired school teacher and previously ran for secretary of state in 2012.

West Virginia
John Buckley (Lib) — Buckley is an attorney and recently retired from the U.S. Court of Federal Claims where he served as the chief of staff and senior law clerk.

Natalie Tennant (D) — Tennant is the incumbent secretary of state. She was first elected in 2008. Before that she owned her own business, was a television anchor and served as the first female mascot at West Virginia University. During her tenure as secretary of state Tennant has successfully implemented online voter registration.

Mac Warner (R) — Warner is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point had a 23-year career as Army Artillery and JAG Corps officer. On the issues Warner will work with county clerks to clean up state voters rolls.

Tina Podlodowski (D) — Podlodowski is a former Microsoft executive and served on the Seattle City Council from 1995 to 2000. She has also served as a nonprofit executive and senior policy advisor for Seattle Mayor Ed Murray.

Kim Wyman (R) — Wyman is the incumbent secretary of state first elected in 2012. Prior to that she served as auditor for Thurston County from 2001-2013 and before that was the county elections manager from 1993-2001. She is currently the only woman holding statewide office in Washington.

There are key questions facing the incoming state election officials in every state – so the outcome of these contests could well have an impact on what reforms do (and don’t) get enacted and/or how they’re implemented across the nation. Consequently, each of these states is worth watching closely to see what’s likely to come next.

32 days until Election Day – stay tuned …

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