Democratic Indiana State Secretary Candidate Holds Rally In Evansville

Jul 27, 2018

Jim Harper (left) speaks at a campaign rally in front of the Vanderburgh County Superior Courts. State Representative Ryan Hatfield introduced him.
Credit Isaiah Seibert / WNIN

The Democratic candidate for Indiana Secretary of State made a campaign stop Friday in Evansville to discuss his two-pronged plan for securing the state's elections.

Jim Harper told the crowd that votes cast in the state should leave a paper trail, which monitors should be required to compare with the electronic results.

"We know that election systems across the country are under attack from Russia and other countries," he said. "Taking common sense steps that experts have confirmed will make our elections more secure is critical."

Harper hopes more Hoosiers will vote if they’re confident in the state’s voting system.

Harper also wants to expand polling hours, implement same-day registration, and make it easier to vote early and by mail. He hopes these measures will improve the state’s voter turnout rate, which was 58 percent in the 2016 general election. That put the state in 36th place nationally.

Harper will face Republican incumbent Connie Lawson in November. 

Harper takes a photo with supporters at the Friday rally.
Credit Isaiah Seibert / WNIN

"The current Secretary of State has not taken basic steps to secure Indiana's elections," Harper said. He added that Lawson applied for funding to secure the state's voting system at "the last possible moment."

Lawson's campaign disputes that claim.

"As Indiana's chief elections administrator, Secretary of State Connie Lawson has been a leader in election security on the state and national level," her campaign said in a statement. "During her time as Indiana's Secretary of State and as President of the National Association of Secretaries of State, Sec. Lawson successfully fought and testified for election security funds to be authorized by Congress."

Lawson was appointed to the position by former Governor Mitch Daniels in 2012.