In March, Indiana announced the new Secretary of State, Holli Sullivan, to replace Connie Lawson who resigned with nearly two years left in her term. On Thursday, 44News This Morning had the pleasure of getting to chat with Indiana's new Secretary of State.
Holli Sullivan joined anchors Tommy Mason and Lauren Leslie to discuss her new responsibilities as well as election security in the Hoosier state. To view the full interview click on the video above.
Question: How are things going as you settle into your new role?
Sullivan: "We have put a lot of work into this transition but quite honestly it's been extremely smooth. I'm now starting to enjoy the fact that I now have constituents all over this great state and being able to meet with them in their own counties, it's fantastic."
Question: "One of the first priorities you have pushed for since being sworn in has been protecting Indiana's records during elections. How are you and your team striving to do this before the next election cycle?
Sullivan: "As the chief elections officer for the state, our Indiana election integrity is our top priority and we are going to continue to make that a priority and part of that is a strong collaboration with our local elected officials who are on the ground, the ones who are performing these local elections for our Hoosiers. As we saw in 2020, we had a very safe, secure, and fraud-free election. Honestly, we had the highest voter turnout since 1992, which is something to be applauded and be very proud of for Hoosiers."
Question: You mention secure elections in the State of Indiana, some states have disagreed with that their election may have gone a little bit differently than they had imagined. State legislators weighed in after the election in last year's Presidential election, specifically, Georgia one of those cases. Now their election laws have changed and the first couple of months of 2021 and in doing so corporations at times have weighed in on state legislators and how they've acted about voter security. What are your thoughts on corporations wielding their power on the economy of each state?
Sullivan: "Voter security, voter integrity, and voter confidence are top priorities in Indiana and as we hear a lot of noise, sadly Hoosiers are getting a lot of mixed messages from other states and the National dialogue currently happening around election security. We can always go back to the fact that in Indiana, Indiana elections are run by Hoosiers and they're extremely safe, they are fraud-free and we've put in place cyber-security and other measures that I worked on even in the legislature before the 2020 election. We have a different story to share than Georgia or other states so I think that's one of the most important things to share with Hoosiers. Indiana businesses are dialed in to the legislature and they input their voice in the legislative process. I have a lot of respect for the integrity of the legislative process here in Indiana, I think it works. Government works in Indiana and when companies and executives and the public and local elected officials all have the chance to voice their opinion while legislation is moving through the system, that's a healthy process and we need to protect that in Indiana."
Question: What is your advice to young girls, even women who are thinking that they may want to run for a larger office, what can you tell them?
Sullivan: "That is exactly why I got involved so more women would put their name in the hat and be able to run for office. My advice is to understand, no matter your background, you are qualified to run for office. I'm an engineer and I hope more engineers run for office. Women across the state usually in the past have needed to be asked to run for office but I always encourage women to get involved in the areas in which they are passionate about. We have so many great things going on in Indiana, there's no reason why we can't have a chamber full of elected officials, all women from the state of Indiana."