November 19, 2018

Know Your Vote Endorses: Gwen Collins-Greenup for Secretary of State

Many people in Louisiana are not aware of the runoff election, on Saturday, December 8. Although many races and ballot measures have been decided, including the crucial “Yes on 2” campaign to create a unanimous jury system, all 64 parishes still have a chance to decide another critical issue: who will be the Secretary of State? As people in Georgia are finding out (in case nobody learned from the Bush v. Gore hanging chad debacle) our elections require the utmost non-partisan integrity.

Gwen Collins-Greenup earned her place in the run-off (with 289,000 votes) through hard work, focus on important issues, and a straightforward attitude that people can relate to. At a candidate forum last week in New Orleans, (which her opponent chose not to attend) Ms. Collins-Greenup was clear on her number one priority: 100% voter turnout throughout Louisiana. She stressed the need to modernize machines and establish clear procedures, recognizing the unnecessary, vague challenges many people face to register and to vote.

Just prior to the forum, hosted by VOTE and the Power Coalition, her opponent made news by starting a dispute with the Department of Corrections (DOC). Interim Secretary Kyle Ardoin, who took over after his boss stepped down for a sexual harassment claim (recently settled out of court), claimed that a man who is on Article 893 probation (with no suspended sentence) voted illegally. That is a serious charge to come out of the agency tasked with overseeing clean elections. However, as the Governor stated in a response, he has “serious concerns that the interim secretary of state doesn’t know the law.”

It is crucial for the people of Louisiana to have a Secretary of State who both knows and follows voting laws. In 2017, Louisiana passed a new law (Act 143) that eases voter eligibility and eliminates the need for producing papers to prove someone is off of DOC’s custody. Kyle Ardoin has either forgotten he was in the hearing to pass this law or is willfully not following the law.

In 2018, Louisiana passed another law (Act 636) that impacts voter eligibility, reducing voting suspensions for tens of thousands of Louisiana citizens, but it is also not clear if Kyle Ardoin will work to implement and enforce this law, which is effective March 1, 2019. Collins-Greenup promised at the recent forum that if elected, she will make Act 636 one of her top priorities and will begin working towards implementation within her first 90 days in office.

Gwen Collins-Greenup possesses the sharp intellect and moral compass to enforce laws for everyone, regardless of their political opinions. She even mentioned that, if she won, Kyle Ardoin would be welcome to continue in the agency if he is on board with the direction she plans to move in. Secretary of State is no place for partisan politics, and this makes the endorsement simple.

Know Your Vote endorses Gwen Collins-Greenup. Spread the word, and tell everyone to turn out for the runoff election on Saturday, December 8.


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