ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)- Voters often don’t pay much attention to the Missouri Secretary of State’s office, but this election year many in the St. Louis area will at least recognize the candidates’ names. Republican nominee Jay Ashcroft, an engineer and lawyer, is the son of former Missouri Governor and U.S. Senator John Ashcroft.
The Democratic nominee is Robin Smith, a former local television journalist who spent 42 years on the air. She also has a master’s degree in international business.
The two both promise to bring integrity and service to the office which is the state’s top elections position. The secretary of state also manages business records, fights security fraud and runs the state library which is used by many citizens searching for family genealogy.
The hot button issue this campaign season is a proposed change to Missouri’s Constitution that would require voter photo IDs in order to cast a ballot. Smith insists that has already been ruled by a number of state courts to be unconstitutional. She says voter fraud cases are minimal and the photo ID plan could hurt minority voting access.
Ashcroft, on the other hand, wrote the proposed Amendment 6 and enthusiastically supports it as a way to prevent voter fraud.
Smith calls herself a “political outsider.” She sees the skills she used as a journalist applicable in the elected office. She says, “It’s the same job. It’s seeking the truth, and making sure we serve everyone with the truth.” Ashcroft tells voters his engineering degree will bring a “different mind set” to the post. He argues he can better analyze problems and do more than put Band Aids on a problem.
He also says his legal background will help him write ballot language summaries that are accurate and will not mislead voters.
St. Louisan Chris Morrill is the Libertarian Party nominee for Secretary of State. He has been a teacher and a financial fraud investigator.