Monday, May 29, 2006

Latest Press Release

The Kole Campaign has recently issues the following press release. I felt it was important to be out front on some important issues. While the press has taken the cue from Democrats on Voter ID as a top issue, I believe the turnout itself is a much greater issue.

As Secretary of State, encouraging turnout will be one of my a top priorities.

Primary Election Turnout Embarrassing

Kole Questions Secretary of State’s Priorities
Fishers, IN- It looks like the Secretary of State’s Office put the cart before the horse, spending $1.2 million on Voter ID education. It begs the question, why educate people on how to do something they aren’t likely to do?

The statewide turnout for the 2006 primaries was 23%. Several counties had shockingly low turnout numbers: Hamilton, 17%; Allen, 16%, Marion, 14%; Monroe, 13%, St. Joseph, 13%.

“I would be embarrassed by the primary turnout numbers, if it happened like this on my watch,” said Kole, adding, “Voter ID is a fine idea. Getting people to vote is an even better idea. As Secretary of State, I will make it a priority to encourage all Hoosiers to vote- regardless of political affiliation.”

Voter ID was an important part of the Republican legislative agenda in 2006, so it came as no surprise that current Secretary of State Todd Rokita, a Republican, made a big production out of promoting the Voter ID, spending $1.2 million on TV, radio, and print ads in all 92 counties1.

But, was the advertising the best use of taxpayer dollars, especially given the light turnout at the recent primary elections? Shouldn’t Rokita have spent that money and energy encouraging all Hoosiers to vote? Libertarian candidate Mike Kole thinks so.

“As the state’s top elections official, encouraging voter turnout should be the Secretary of State’s top priority,” said Kole.

It can’t be said that Rokita made no effort to encourage turnout. It’s just that it wasn’t directed at Hoosiers.

“I was floored when I saw Rokita’s press release encouraging Katrina evacuees to vote in Louisiana2,” said Kole, adding, “I didn’t realize voters from Louisiana were the Indiana Secretary of State’s responsibility.”

But there wasn’t even as much as a press release urging Hoosiers to vote, let alone an ad campaign.

Kole asks, “Why did a handful of people from Louisiana merit more attention than a few million Hoosiers? Why was Voter ID education more important than actually getting Hoosiers to the polls so they could show their Ids? These are big mistakes. The people of Indiana deserve better,” said Kole.

Hoosier voters are the priority. Let’s get Hoosiers to the polls first.

Having an ID isn’t that tricky a concept, and didn’t merit $1.2 million in taxpayer dollars spent.

Mike Kole will have his priorities in order as Secretary of State.


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