NOTE: This candidate profile is part of our targeted coverage of the Indiana Secretary of State race. To read about the other candidates, click here.
Connie Lawson has spent much of her political career looking out for voters.
If elected to continue as Secretary of State, she plans to do the same.
"I hope people understand that I do have the experience," Lawson said. "I was a county clerk for eight years in Hendricks County and I was able to run elections. So that's at least eight of those years, I was able to work with my county election board, Democrat and Republican members."
She's also served as Secretary of State for more than two years, appointed to the position after a jury convicted former Secretary of State Charlie White on felony charges of voter fraud, perjury and theft.
Her goal as Secretary of State is to make sure everyone understands that their vote counts. One way her administration has done so is by the creation of voter outreach programs.
"We want people to know that your vote does count and many races in our state have been decided by one vote to a dozen or so votes," Lawson said. "So, we really need people to understand what's at stake."
When she took over office in 2012, Indiana had vote centers in seven counties. She has since expanded the service and it's now in 19 counties across the state.
"My goal has been to make elections more accessible for voters," Lawson said. "I do believe, however, that security and integrity in our elections is important as well, and that's why I supported voter ID and that's why I also asked legislators to support me in helping me to help the clerks clean up our voter registration lists.
"I believe everybody that takes responsibility to vote in one of our elections deserves to have their vote counted accurately and to not have that vote canceled out by someone committing fraud."
Lawson also worked on election reforms in her 16 years in the Indiana Senate, working as an advocate for voter accessibility.
"I supported the early voting concept that we have right now, where someone can vote early in person, stating no reason to the clerk's office or by satellite where a decision can be reached by unanimous decision by an election board," Lawson said. "I also supported the fact that today you can vote by absentee almost 30 days prior to the election, as well. I carried the online voter registration capability in 2009, which actually led to the new Indiana Voter's App, which we have today, where a voter can get online, register to vote, confirm registration, find out who's on the ballot, where they can go vote and even get driving directions to the polling location."
Lawson is honored and humbled to serve as Secretary of State and hopes to continue in the position.
"When elected in January, we're going to continue to focus on the same mission," she said. We're going to know exactly how to continue the good work."
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