There are 600 duties required of the Kansas secretary of state when they take on the role of a public representative.
Many of these are purely administrative matters that can be divided into two main divisions. The first main division of duties is to help businesses by answering questions, helping them fill out reports and other functions that help keep the flow of business healthy in our state.
The second main division is to be a fair and impartial elections officer for the state of Kansas.
On Thursday, September 18, the Democratic candidate for Kansas Secretary of State, Jean Schodorf, visited Washburn University to address and inform the students and local community of the importance of the job and what she would bring to the position if she were elected.
Schodorf has many new ideas and plans she would like to implement if she is elected to the office.
“I have a three part plan. The first part of the plan is to ensure a full time secretary of state for Kansas,” said Schodorf. “The second part is to make a one-stop shop for businesses as well as a goal to have 24-hour turn around for any questions and information these businesses or potential businesses might have.”
Another part of Schodorf’s plan is to look into establishing a task force of business owners that would identify and address the needs of local and small businesses.
“There should also be a program to educate businesses on identity theft and other online issues,” said Schodorf. “We also have to streamline voter registration laws so there aren’t this huge holes in the law that are preventing valid American citizens from exercising their right to vote.”
According to Schodorf this means much more of a hands on approach.
“I want to work with the county clerks, which means going out in the state to visit and work and change the law for the better,” said Schodorf.
The candidate emphasized the importance of making sure that Kansas has a clear elections process across the board.
“Everything has to be for the state of Kansas because this is a full time job,” said Schodorf. “This job isn’t just a day job, it’s 24/7/365, and with the problems that are happening in the Secretary of State’s office now it’s just falling apart and it will take a lot to restore that office for the people.”
Schodorf also spoke of her concerns with of the way the office is being handled by the current Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach.
She addressed the controversies that have stirred to the surface dealing with the non-transparency of Kobach’s private practice as well as the situation surrounding the legality of Kobach’s refusal to allow democratic candidate Chad Taylor to withdraw his name from the ballot when he pulled out of the Senate race earlier this month.
“There should be no personal agendas and one should recuse one’s self if there is a conflict,” said Schodorf. “Right now everything is shadowy at the Secretary of State’s office. We don’t know where the secretary is, if he’s there, what state he’s in, who his client for his private practice are because he refuses to release any of that information. If you are elected as a public servant for the people of Kansas you are supposed to work for the people of Kansas and do the job you’re hired to do.”
In addition to speaking to Washburn students during her visit, Schodorf also spent time in Memorial Union eating lunch with and directly engaging potential voters.
The Wichita-based Democrat is running against current Secretary of State Kris Kobach.
Schodorf is running on a platform based on state voting reform, increased identity protection and new opportunities for small businesses.
Information about Schodorf and her campaign can be found at www.jeanforkansas.com