Vote 2016: Q&A with Missouri Secretary of State Candidates

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Vote 2016: Q&A with Missouri Secretary of State Candidates

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Essi A. Virtanen and Kyle Rainey
November 7, 2016; 5:30 p.m.

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[su_heading size=”17″ margin=”10″]Robin Smith
Democrat[/su_heading]
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[su_heading size=”17″ margin=”10″]Chris Morrill
Libertarian[/su_heading]
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ashcroft[su_heading size=”17″ margin=”10″]John Ashcroft Jr.
Republican[/su_heading]
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[su_dropcap style=”light” size = “3”]Q:[/su_dropcap]

Why did you decide to run for Secretary of State?

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[su_spoiler title=”A:” style=”fancy”]Because I want to protect everyone, everyone who’d like to vote in the state of Missouri. Right now there are 220,000 voters who are in jeopardy of losing their right to vote if the Republicans get their way. That includes senior citizens, veterans, the elderly, those with varying abilities, college students and minority for women. [/su_spoiler]

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[su_spoiler title=”A:” style=”fancy”]I have been involved with the Libertarian party since the year 2000. I ran in a state senate race in 2004 for them. This year was so unique that I felt like I had to be involved at a higher level. We had the two major parties both nominating not just bad, but detestable candidates. And it just seemed like a great year to try and do something a little bigger. [/su_spoiler]

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[su_spoiler title=”A:” style=”fancy”]I think this is a very important statewide office. It’s the No. 2 ambassador for business, it’s the chief election authority for the state [and] it’s in charge of securities and regulations. I look at my qualifications, my experience as an attorney and engineer, having done election and securities law and having run an assembly line, this is something I am uniquely qualified compared to the other people who are running.[/su_spoiler]

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[su_dropcap style=”light” size = “3”]Q:[/su_dropcap]

How would college students benefit from having you as the Secretary of State?

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[su_spoiler title=”A:” style=”fancy”]All college students will retain their right to vote when I become Secretary of State. I’ll protect them from the future attacks from candidates like Ashcroft, who wish to harm them.[/su_spoiler]

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[su_spoiler title=”A:” style=”fancy”]I would like to think that all Missourians would benefit from having me as Secretary of State.[/su_spoiler]

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[su_spoiler title=”A:” style=”fancy”]I think we need to be making sure that everyone in Missouri has the opportunity to be successful, to reach for their dreams and achieve.[/su_spoiler]

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[su_dropcap style=”light” size = “3”]Q:[/su_dropcap]

For someone who is not sure if they are going to participate in the election,
why would you encourage them to go to the polls?

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[su_spoiler title=”A:” style=”fancy”]They may lose their right to vote if they don’t. Photo voter ID and Amendment 6 to the Missouri Constitution is going to strip them of their right to vote. This entire photo fraud issue is in the imagination of Republicans. It violates the Constitution, and in an opinion of one judge, a federal judge in Texas, it was surgical precision that moved 220,000 voters in Missouri and removed only voters in Texas, the judge said, that photo variety of surgical precision remove voters who are almost exclusively Democrats. That’s all they wish to accomplish, getting Democrats off the voting roll. They don’t care if they harm veterans, senior citizens, college students, those with varying abilities.[/su_spoiler]

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[su_spoiler title=”A:” style=”fancy”]Because this is a historic year. You have two remarkably distasteful candidates at the top of the major party tickets. We have a good candidate at the top of our ticket by the way, Gary Johnson, former governor of New Mexico, and his running mate Bill Well, former governor of Massachusetts. As far as Libertarians go, [they are] very moderate, accomplished, sane people. I would like to think they’ll get a lot of votes this year. Even if you don’t vote for Libertarians or Gov. Johnson, I would hope to think that the voters are motivated this year to go out and be on the right side of history by voting against one of the more horrible candidates.[/su_spoiler]

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[su_spoiler title=”A:” style=”fancy”]Because our vote matters. All too often we think our vote doesn’t matter, but it does. We have a state representative that’s serving right now that won his primary by one vote. And you might say well that was the primary, but it was in a heavily Democratic district where whoever won the democrat district was going to go on and win and serve in the Legislature. One vote made the difference there. I believe it’s part of our civic duty to get informed and participate in elections. If we want to make this state better, we are going to be better off the more people we have that are generally working to find the best solution and are part of the process, and voting is part of that. So I heartily encourage everyone to get informed, get involved and vote.[/su_spoiler]

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