Democrats flipped secretary of state races in key swing states in 2018 in a boon to voting rights
Republicans have run election administration in most states for most of this decade, but Democrats made critical gains in three key swing states in 2018. Indeed, Democrats flipped the secretary of state races in Arizona, Michigan, and Colorado, winning the latter for the first time since 1958!
Winning back control of state-level election administration is important under our system of federalism for securing voting rights and protecting the integrity of our elections from threats like foreign hacking. Indeed, Republican secretaries of state have gone to extremes to purge eligible voters from the rolls, but Democratic officeholders can help make voter registration as easy and accessible as possible.
While Democrats had heartbreakingly narrow losses for secretary of state or the governor who appoints the office in the major swing states of Florida, Georgia, Nevada, and Ohio, they nevertheless have the power to expand voting rights in other ways. For instance, Nevada Democrats captured the governor’s office and held the legislature, letting them enact voting reforms by regular statute, but even if they hadn’t, Nevada voters also passed an automatic voter registration ballot initiative. Consequently, control over election administration and the levers of legislative power provide a path for Democrats to help protect the most fundamental right in any democracy: the right to vote.