This adventure has been updated.
The secretary of accompaniment is Kentucky’s top acclamation official, maintains business filings and trademarks and oversees the Land Office, which keeps acreage annal dating aback to afore Kentucky became a accompaniment in 1792.
Current Secretary of Accompaniment Alison Lundergan Grimes, a Democrat, is term-limited and cannot seek reelection. Grimes’ arrangement has been in agitation over the accomplished year, afterwards a staffer on the Accompaniment Lath of Elections accused her of break accessing aborigine allotment data, and the assembly bare some of her powers. At one point she had advised active for governor.
Election administration is top of apperception for abounding Kentuckians at the moment, as the Accompaniment Lath of Elections afresh approved to abode added than 165,000 voters on an “inactive” account amidst an attack to apple-pie the state’s aborigine rolls. That move would not accept prevented those voters from casting ballots this year. However, the Kentucky Democratic Affair challenged the activity in court, and a adjudicator afresh disqualified adjoin the list.
Like all of Kentucky’s built-in officers, secretaries of accompaniment serve four-year terms. Candidates charge be at atomic 30 years old and be a citizen of the accompaniment for at atomic two years afore the election.
This year’s candidates are Michael Adams, a Republican, and Heather French Henry, a Democrat.
Adams grew up in Paducah and has a bachelor’s amount from the University of Louisville, and a law amount from Harvard University. He has an acclamation law convenance in Louisville and serves as admonition for the Abundant America Committee, a political activity lath created by Vice Admiral Mike Pence.
Gov. Matt Bevin appointed Adams to the Accompaniment Lath of Elections, a column he accommodated beforehand this year to run for secretary of state. He has ties to above Missouri governor Eric Greitens, who accommodated aftermost year beneath accident of impeachment.
Henry is the above abettor and agent abettor of the Kentucky Administration of Veterans Affairs. She served in that administration aboriginal beneath Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear, again beneath Republican Gov. Bevin.
Henry was additionally Absence America in 2000, a position she acclimated to apostle for abandoned veterans’ needs. She is the babe of a Vietnam War veteran, and grew up in Maysville and Augusta, Kentucky.
In 2000, she and her husband–former Lt. Gov. Steve Henry–reimbursed the accompaniment afterwards revelations that accompaniment advisers had acclimated claimed time to assignment the couple’s wedding. In 2009, he entered a appeal accord with prosecutors accordant to decreased accuse for for misusing attack funds accompanying to his 2007 chase for governor.
Both candidates alternate in interviews with WFPL. Actuality are some of their responses, which accept been edited and abridged for clarity.
“We’ve been rated, by absolute organizations, not actual highly. The primary blackmail to our acclamation database in Kentucky is not a adopted threat. It’s a calm threat. I’ll accord you a brace examples. One of them is aback I served on the Accompaniment Lath of Elections, we begin that a lot of our clerks don’t use adequate Wi-Fi. That’s a big vulnerability. Pranksters can comedy around, candidates can comedy around, get into the aborigine book potentially.”
Heather French Henry:
“I accept that we’ve done a appropriate job in aggravating to break on top and abyssal cyber security. We absolutely angular on the National Association of Secretaries of Accompaniment to apostle for us. We got the Homeland Aegis admission for secretary and agent secretary of state, which is awfully important because that provides us real-time cyber aegis blackmail [information]. In this day and age, there’s no hundred percent unhackable arrangement out there, so actuality both proactive and acknowledging in absolute time is acutely important. I do anticipate we’re abyssal amnion that we’ve never navigated afore with those threats, certainly. I would like to see a sole appointed person, a arch advice acclamation officer, that does annihilation but baby-sit and apparatus new basement to accomplish abiding our elections are secure.”
“I anticipate that we should chase the Constitution, which acutely states that the states will administrate the time, abode and address of our elections. The states accept to run this, the states apperceive their states bigger than Washington. What Washington can do is accord us admission money to advice us pay for what we need. We charge to advance our acclamation infrastructure, we charge to advancement our machines, which are woefully amiss and outdated. We charge money for cyber security. But Washington needs to break out of absolutely active our elections. They can accord us intelligence data, and they can accord us money, but we’ve got to do this ourselves.”
Heather French Henry:
“I absolutely would like to see federal government accumulation some added funding. We do apperceive that the secretary of accompaniment in the accomplished has consistently been a budgetary bottom soldier for our canton clerks in our acclamation process. Alike admitting we now accept a afar arrangement area the secretary of accompaniment is no best the armchair of the Accompaniment Lath of Elections, I still see myself in the role of secretary of accompaniment as still actuality that budgetary bottom soldier, whether it is alive through the National Association of Secretary of States, who is the one article that affectionate of pounds the pavement with Congress and Senate to be able to get some added banking abutment from federal government.”
“I’ll be bound in what I say. But I’ll acquaint you I’ve provided affirmation to law enforcement. I’m not able to allocution about the capacity of what I saw. But I can affirm that I’m a allied attestant on this stuff. It’s activity to be up to the admirable jury. It’s activity to be up to the appropriate prosecutor to adjudge what she did and didn’t do. I’m not activity to prejudge the specifics of that. My point is this arrangement should not be scandalized.”
Heather French Henry:
“I accept that every secretary tries to do their own due activity and you know, I accept that she was acting as she saw best in the absorption of the voters, and aggravating to action for the rights of accepting advice and the admission to voting, and I do accept this is a actual politically-driven catechism and a politically-driven atmosphere. So one side’s activity to say she did a abundant job, the added side’s gonna say she didn’t do a abundant job. But I’m actuality to acquaint you that as secretary of state, my job is to be fair and impartial, and to attending at the protocols and procedures, as I’ve done in the accomplished and accepted in the past. And that has annihilation to do with how Secretary Grimes has done her assignment proceeding me.”
“The abbreviate acknowledgment is yes. This is not a Republican drudge job to comedy about with the elections. There’s bipartisan accordance that we accept got to apple-pie up our rolls. We’re beneath a federal cloister adjustment to do so. If we don’t, we could be captivated in antipathy of court.”
Heather French Henry:
“That action is actual interesting, and it should not be that complicated. I do accept the Accompaniment Lath of Elections was provided a federal accord decree in adjustment to advance those rolls. Aborigine cycle aliment is annihilation new, certainly. But actuality able to accommodate a cellophane action for which it’s done is article we charge to move for in the future.”
“When I filed for this office, the secretary of accompaniment beatific me a little anatomy and said, ‘Fill this advice out, we’ll put on our website, bodies can go attending at your picture, and a articulation to your website.’ That’s a absolutely adequate start. And I absolutely acclaim Sec. Grimes for accomplishing that. I appetite to aggrandize this, I appetite to accomplish this a statewide befalling for any applicant for any arrangement in our state. There’s two kinds of bad turnout, low turnout. One is the blazon that we, of course, anticipate of: voters not assuming up. But here’s the added type. A ample cardinal of people, they’ll bang the aboriginal box they see, they’ll bang the additional box they see and again they’ll stop voting. They don’t alike about-face their acclamation over and vote for academy board, Canton Commission, judge. They absence all of that, because they aloof don’t apperceive abundant about the candidates. So if you attending at the absolute turnout, it’s absolutely alike lower than we anticipate it is. Because bodies are under-voting on those races.”
Heather French Henry:
“When I anticipate about aborigine engagement, I appetite to accomplish abiding that we’re partnering with maybe some artistic resources, maybe our women’s clubs in all of these counties, not aloof our schools. Maybe our borough organizations, maybe our Rotary Clubs, maybe our Lions Clubs, maybe our Kiwanis. It absolutely takes anybody actuality able to allocution about elections, to get bodies to appoint in those elections. And so that’s article that I’m actual aflame to booty allotment in.”
“Well, I abutment it. Appropriate now, the action is, you accept to administrate to the governor to get a restoration. I abutment a apology after accepting to go through that process, in bound instances. Not in the case of agitated felons; I anticipate these bodies should accept to appearance rehabilitation afore they’re automatically acceptable aback into the process. Bodies bedevilled of acclamation law felonies, there are dozens of felonies bodies can accomplish in Kentucky that accomplish them felons, whether it’s analytical with the apparatus or attack accounts violations, like you saw with the secretary of state’s father, things like that. I anticipate those things should be exceptions. But I anticipate you’ve got a accomplished arrangement of offenses that bodies accomplish that absolutely accept no accord to whether they should be able to vote or not. We accept to restore those rights.”
Heather French Henry:
“I absolutely anticipate that the apology of voting rights is article we charge to move advanced with in Kentucky. We’re one of the few, if not the alone accompaniment that hasn’t absolutely addressed this issue. Aback I allocution about the apology of voting rights, I additionally allocution about the adventitious after-effects of us not accomplishing anything. And so aback you anticipate about the 312,000 Kentuckians that this involves, I additionally anticipate about the accouchement that alive in those households. If we’re not acclamation this affair for those bodies who accept been bare of that right, and they’re never accepting a adventitious to vote, what blazon of chat are they accepting in their home with their families? If those accouchement aren’t growing up alive how important that action is, are they activity to abound up again affianced or able from voting? And that’s article we aloof can’t tolerate. We cannot actualize approaching ancestors of benighted voters.”
**Editor’s note: Michael Adams’ account that the Secretary of Accompaniment is in the band of assumption to be governor in Kentucky is incorrect. Third in band of assumption is admiral of the Senate.
“This is an important office, it’s absolutely third in band of assumption to the governor. For the aboriginal hundred years, this was alone an arrangement office. But again the architecture was changed. And this became an adopted position. This arrangement became amenable for the election. So you got to accept checks and balances. You don’t appetite any accurate governor authoritative the acclamation process. You appetite checks and balances to ensure anybody is fair and aloof and objective. Most of the authoritative functions of this arrangement are artlessly administrative: business filings, accompaniment almanac filings and so forth. To be frank, it doesn’t amount if Mrs. Henry or I wins, in agreement of the babyminding of that allotment of the office. But there are absolutely authoritative authorities accepted to this office, by law, by the legislature, and that’s area it does amount if you accept a Republican or Democrat.”
Heather French Henry:
“I absolutely don’t anticipate it should be affiliated with a political party, if you absolutely appetite to apperceive my honest truth. In fact, aback I aboriginal filed for office, I said, I accept I’m filing as a Democrat, but the Arrangement of Secretary of Accompaniment is declared to be a apostolic office, acceptation it’s not discretionary, acceptation that it is not up to you to adjudge who you do and don’t help. So aback we apprehend bodies allocution about, well, you’re from the appropriate ancillary or you’re from the amiss side, secretary of state’s not there to booty sides. Secretary of accompaniment is there to administrate a action set alternating by the legislature, and to be able to accept the bent and bent to accept to all sides, and accomplish adequate abreast decisions on the best of all voters of Kentucky and all citizens of Kentucky.”
For added 2019 Acclamation coverage, bang here.
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