With control of the Senate up for grabs and a Republican House looking to expand its majority in November, it would seem strange for DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to spend even a minute thinking about usually sleepy down-ballot races like the open seat for Iowa’s Secretary of State. But at the Democratic National Committee summer meeting last month, Wasserman Schultz not only talked about that Iowa contest—she also promised to campaign for the Democrat in the race, Brad Anderson, and four other Democratic secretary of state candidates in swing states across the country this fall. Why use so much fire power on such low-profile offices? “We’re committed to ensuring that those who administer elections do so fairly,” Wasserman Schultz said, singling out five races in Ohio, New Mexico, Colorado, and Nevada, in addition to Iowa, as the ones she’s most focused on. “The fights over voter ID and early voting are just the latest reminder of how important the rules for elections are in shaping the electorate and determining the eventual outcomes.”
The office of secretary of state was once little more than a pit stop on the road to higher office—four years of resume building that included inglorious duties like licensing beauticians and other small businesses, maintaining state historical records, and running around the state handing out proclamations to civic groups. But more than three dozen secretaries of state across the country have one duty that’s as serious as they come: They oversee and administer elections.
Over the last several years, secretary of state offices have taken on a new and more controversial role as partisan legislatures pushed changes to election laws and secretaries of state were charged with making decisions on everything from ballot language to voter eligibility to voting hours and crucial calls in contested elections. The decisions ultimately affect not only who votes in elections, but often who wins them.
Full Article: The Democrats’ Katherine Harris Strategy – The Daily Beast.