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Secretary of State meets with College Republicans

By Katie Sallach
On March 29, 2013

Miami University's chapter of College Republicans hosted a discussion Wednesday night with Ohio Secretary of State Jon Husted. Husted met with a group of College Republican members to discuss a variety of topics concerning elections including voter fraud, plans for the Republican Party and the future of the state as well as the nation.

Before opening up the discussion to questions from the audience, Husted conducted a brief introductory lecture on his thoughts about the future of both the Republican Party and nation.

He began with a brief statement about some of the biggest challenges he faces as the Ohio Secretary of State.

Because Ohio is such an important swing state, Husted said he faces some of the most pre-election scrutiny of all the states. He said the biggest challenge he faces is trying to find a balance between making voting easy and secure for voters.

He went on to discuss ways he thinks Republicans can get more votes in future elections and become the dominant party and get the country back on track.

"Sometimes we [The Republican Party] come across as a little angry and intolerant," he said.

He suggested that Republicans take a more compassionate and optimistic tone when discussing their conservative values.

He also suggested the party should talk to swing voters who work hard and play by the rules in addition to talking to people who did not vote for them previously.

Husted concluded with a call to action for college Republicans, saying this is their generation and chance to create needed change.

"I can't believe some of the things we are doing to ourselves in this country," Husted said. "We can't continue on the path we're on."

He addressed the extremely high level of national debt previous generations have caused, and Husted told the group it is their responsibility as College Republicans to make changes to the system in order to find a solution to the debt this generation faces.

Following his introductory lecture, Husted spent the rest of the hour-long discussion answering questions from members of the audience.

The first question came from a student who was curious as to whether or not Husted had any thoughts on the incident in Cincinnati when a poll worker voted multiple times. Husted responded to this question by claiming in these types of circumstances it is important to hold people accountable for their actions so they can build confidence in the system.

In response to another student's question concerning the safety of online voting, Husted responded with a more pertinent question.

"The question is do you think people will trust voting online," he said.

While he mentioned online voting would most likely become very expensive, he said he believes the lack of trust people have in it will prolong its establishment. He also said he thinks online security is a U.S. vulnerability that more money should be spent on and awareness increased in.

He also included the need to promote the idea of helping people who may be struggling but are working towards self-sufficiency, instead of just allowing the government to completely support them financially.

"Every time the government does something for us, it traps us," Husted said.

He offered an anecdote about the pride he felt when he earned his first paycheck as an example and asked the audience to reflect on whether they prefer something they earned or something they were given more.

Junior Joseph Kulifay said he thought Husted made some good points and has progressive ideas and attitudes towards the country and the Republican Party.

"He has a good forward looking view on where the party needs to go," Kulifay said. "I think the key is to be more accepting."

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