By Mitchell Banks | The Tribune
Indiana Secretary of State Holli Sullivan paid a visit to Jackson County on Friday to meet with Jackson County Clerk Melissa Hayes and her staff to talk about the election process.
The visit was a part of a statewide listening tour that will see Sullivan visit all of the state’s 92 counties to meet with county clerks, who are in charge of local elections, their staffs and businesses.
Sullivan, who also stopped by The Tribune, said Indiana had a very successful election in 2020 and that she had talked with Hayes about voter confidence.
“We want to maintain voter confidence and increase voter turnout since in 2020, we had a really high voter turnout,” she said. “’We want to continue to build on that.”
To increase voter turnout, Sullivan said she is partnering with clerks to get the message to voters about the election process.
Jackson County is in the process of becoming a vote center county, and Sullivan said that will be a convenience for voters here.
A vote center is a polling place where any eligible voter in the county can go to vote on Election Day, as opposed to voting at a designated polling sites.
Since this is a significant change to county elections, Sullivan said communication will have to be made to educate voters on the new process.
After this change, Jackson County will go from 20 voting precincts to six vote centers.
One large goal for Sullivan is to make sure Indiana’s election security is top notch.
“The top priority — and it will always be a goal of mine — is to continue the stellar reputation that Indiana has around election security and integrity and continue the momentum around making that as transparent as possible so that Hoosiers know the ins and outs of their election process,” she said.
Indiana’s Business Services Division is led by Sullivan, which she says is “where every business in the state of Indiana begins.” The state’s Securities and Auto Dealers divisions also are under her leadership.
According to inbiz.gov, “INBiz is the state of Indiana’s one-stop resource for registering and managing your business and ensuring it complies with state laws and regulations.”
As the state continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, Sullivan said she is working to see if there are any online business service needs with the portal. She said her main focus is working with minority women and veteran business owners and helping streamline the business certification process.
Improving the INBiz portal allows Sullivan to understand how many businesses there are and “brag a little bit about their economic impact and how much they do for Indiana.”
To maintain accurate voter registration information, Hoosiers are being sent postcards to make sure current voter data are correct. If information needs to be changed, voters may visit indianavoters.com.
Overall, Sullivan said she had a pleasant trip to Jackson County.
“It has been a great day,” she said. “It’s a beautiful day to be in your county. Truly, just to get to know the county’s election team has been an honor. They’ve done a great job.”