Over the last year while campaigning to be secretary of state, I’ve met Iowans in counties from Wapello to Woodbury. I’m convinced Iowans are ready to vote for their values, their hope for the future, and for candidates they believe will make a lasting impact on their communities.
From state legislative races to statewide offices, the strength of communities across the country depends on who shows up on Election Day. The one place that makes us all equal: the ballot box.
That’s why I’ve focused so much of my campaign on voter education. Regardless of what political party you belong to, your most fundamental right to vote must be protected.
As the commissioner of elections and campaigns, the Secretary of State’s Office should start playing a bigger role in engaging voters and increasing participation in all of our elections, not just the big ones.
When even one voter is turned away, that is a threat to our democracy. Our democracy depends on us.
Our elections must be secure from any interference, either foreign or domestic, and that’s why if elected, I will appoint a director of election security. At this pivotal moment in our history when the right to vote in fair elections hangs in the balance, the person who leads the Secretary of State’s Office could not be more important.
The Secretary of State’s Office is also important for another, little known reason: It can direct state resources to empower the success of our small businesses and strengthen our economy by simply connecting small businesses to the resources that will help them grow.
As a small-business owner in Des Moines, I know how much hard work and sheer determination it takes to run a successful business. The state can, and should, be doing more to support the 260,000 small businesses across Iowa who are creating jobs for almost half of our entire workforce.
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By making available tools and resources to innovative businesses, we can make sure they succeed. Every Iowan should have the opportunity to work at a good-paying job in diverse industries, which have powered our economy for decades.
Between Oct. 8 and Nov. 6, I first and foremost hope you choose to vote. And I hope you’ll stand with me to ensure the Secretary of State’s Office works for every Iowa voter, small business owner, and working family.
• Deidre DeJear is the Democratic candidate for Iowa Secretary of State.
All candidate guest columns in the Iowa Secretary of State race:
• Jules Ofenbakh (no column submitted, endorsement meeting video)