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Kansas Secretary of State candidate Chris Biggs chats about upcoming election

July 19, 2010

This chat has already taken place. Read the transcript below.

Kansas Secretary of State Chris Biggs is vying for the right to appear on the ballot as the Democratic nominee for Secretary of State in the November general election. He'll take your questions on the upcoming election.

Moderator:

Hello and welcome to this LJWorld.com Election 2010 chat with Secretary of State candidate Chris Biggs. Chris, welcome and thanks for joining us today.

Chris Biggs:

Thanks for having me. I look forward to answering questions this morning.

Moderator:

Before we get to questions from our voters, can you tell us what made you choose to accept the position of Secretary of State when Gov. Parkinson appointed you, back in March?

Chris Biggs:

I had already decided to run for the office when the appointment was made. I have a long record of public service and the Secretary of State's Office is a perfect fit for my professional training and experience.

Moderator:

Here's our first voter's question, which we received via e-mail:
Kris Kobach, a candidate for the Republican nomination for Secretary of State, has made a major issue of voter fraud in Kansas. What's your position on the state of voter fraud in Kansas and how would you cut down on it?

Chris Biggs:

Voter fraud is not a major problem in Kansas, although there are isolated cases. In fact, these cases are so few and far between that there are no standard procedures in place to deal with them when they arise. I have a background in law enforcement, having been a prosecutor for over 20 years, and am one of the few people in the state to have actually prosecuted a voter fraud case. As Secretary of State, I will be diligent in ensuring the integrity of elections.

docputer:

Do you plan any sweeping changes in the Secretary of State office that will be obvious to the average citizen?
Thanks for the job you have done so far in office, and thanks for taking my question.

Chris Biggs:

I believe government should be open and transparent. One of my top priorities is enhancing the efficiency and accessibility of the Secretary of State's Office. This includes encouraging electronic filing of forms by business entities and posting these filings online for public access.

In addition, the Secretary of State's Office audits cemetery trust funds. I have already taken corrective action to ensure that our office has the necessary tools to protect consumers and deal with problems that have been uncovered.

jrk:

What do you see as the top priority for the Secretary of State in Kansas?

Chris Biggs:

As the Chief Election Officer for the State of Kansas, my top priority is to ensure fair, secure, and open elections. This includes educating Kansans on voting procedures, working with local clerks to improve the voting process, and encouraging Kansans to vote.

Moderator:

How can you office increase voter turnout?

Chris Biggs:

We have a major problem with voter apathy in Kansas. Prudent steps which make voting easier, will help increase voter turnout. For example, advance voting by mail or in person has become an important part of our election process and now makes up nearly 40 percent of the vote in some counties. By educating the public about advance voting and encouraging advance voting, I believe we can increase voter turnout.

jlarance85:

Youth voter turnout has never been very high. Do you think that could change and if so how?

Chris Biggs:

Voter apathy among any group concerns me. I believe there needs to be an emphasis starting in grade school regarding the importance of civic engagement and the voting process. As Secretary of State, I have worked to engage youth and emphasize the importance of voting to democracy and will continue to do so.

Moderator:

If you had to describe your differences with your opponents, what would you say most clearly sets you apart?

Chris Biggs:

The first thing voters should know about me is that I will not politicize the Office of the Secretary of State. I have a background in law enforcement and have managed a statewide agency as Securities Commissioner. My whole career has involved interpreting and enforcing the laws fairly for all Kansans regardless of political affiliation. My focus is on serving the people of the State of Kansas.

Moderator:

Here's a follow-up on a previous question:

jlarance85:

A follow-up question to your answer on youth voter turnout. Kansans in their 20's need to be motivated in order to vote. How will you get their attention?

Chris Biggs:

Traditional forms of media often do not reach the youth. We have an education program we are implementing that will include using social media such as facebook, twitter, and youtube that will reach out specifically to those under 25.

Moderator:

That's the last question that we have. Chris, thanks for joining us today. Do you have any closing thoughts?

Chris Biggs:

Thank you for your questions. I've enjoyed this opportunity. I look forward to continuing to serve as your Secretary of State. I would encourage all Kansans to vote in the Primary Election on Tuesday, August 3rd!

Moderator:

Thanks to everyone who asked a question. Remember, advance voting for the primary is underway now at the Douglas County Courthouse. Election day is Aug. 3. Today is the last day to register in order to be eligible to vote in that election.

Comments

LJ Whirled 3 years, 9 months ago

ljw wouldn't ask him to weigh in, but I think Biggs is like Underdog and Kobach is like El Kabong. Just sayin'.

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