October 31, 2022
Herald Bulletin Editorial Board
Indiana’s secretary of state, which has been an office in the state Constitution since 1816, serves as the chief election official. In part, the agency provides oversight for state elections in Indiana.
With such responsibility, the officeholder needs to be principled and efficient while displaying unqualified integrity.
The editorial board of The Herald Bulletin endorses the Democrat, Destiny Wells, as the candidate best reflecting those values in the Nov. 8 general election.
Wells, an attorney who grew up on her family’s farm in Morgan County, enlisted in the Army after 9/11 at the age of 19. She was deployed to Afghanistan in 2016 and is now an Army reserve lieutenant colonel in military intelligence.
Libertarian Jeffrey Maurer, born in and now living in Carmel, is a development officer for Students for Liberty, a student organization that espouses the free market and free speech. He is currently enlisted in the Indiana Air National Guard and continues to serve our state and our nation.
Republican candidate Diego Morales, born in Guatemala, has put his veteran status — honorably discharged from the National Guard after serving three-and-a-half months of an eight-year commitment — high on his list of qualifications. But he has been criticized for not fully explaining the discrepancy in service.
After attacks on Morales’ honesty, the Indiana GOP was forced to release a statement defending his service.
At first, Morales called the 2020 election a scam, though more recently he has accepted President Joe Biden as the winner. Someone who initially called the election a scam, when there’s no evidence to support that viewpoint, is not the type of person Hoosiers need running elections.
Finally, Morales, who manages to make it to GOP fundraisers, refused to participate in a televised Oct. 10 debate attended by Wells and Maurer.
In the debate, both shared similar views about hoping to educate Hoosiers on the lesser-known divisions of the office: chartering new businesses, regulating the securities industry and licensing vehicle dealerships.
Maurer wants voters to receive receipts for their votes and supports conducting an audit before votes are certified to avoid calls of election fraud as in 2020.
Wells, a former deputy attorney general for the state of Indiana, backs up her agenda with data.
Citing that Indiana is 46th in the nation for registered voter turnout, she wants to improve voters’ showing at the polls. She urges nonpartisan redistricting for 2031, as she believes gerrymandering keeps voters from the polls when they see that races have become noncompetitive.
She hopes to promote civic education. In part, she wants Hoosiers to understand the influence that donor money has on the election process. This she underscores by referring to the nonpartisan Coalition for Integrity’s ranking in September, which shows that Indiana is last in the nation for campaign transparency.
She would like the legislature to consider extending polling hours as, she said, Indiana is one of two states that closes voting at 6 p.m.
Hoosiers are likely looking for a secretary of state who can promote the state for business and industry and can fairly provide regulatory services. Moreover, voters are seeking a candidate who will run elections with transparency and integrity. Wells has the character traits to accomplish all of this.