WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — KSN News sent a questionnaire to each candidate facing a challenger in the November general election. We have not made any edits to the candidate’s answers.


Biographical Information:

Jeanna Repass

I am a community organizer and businesswomen here in Kansas, and I’ve laid down deep roots among people who know they deserve better than the status quo. I come from a long line of Kansas civil rights activists and public servants – from women who could see a better future, and who dedicated their lives to building that future for their daughters. My mother was a civil-rights activist and pastor in Nebraska, and she taught me how critical it is to stand up for what’s right, and to protect the wellbeing of your community. My father was a veteran and a law enforcement officer, and he instilled in me a desire to serve my country. I intend to bring their values and integrity to my position as Secretary of State. My passion for my community is what drives me to run for Secretary of State.

I was the Director of Urban Outreach for the United Church of the Resurrection in Leawood, where I focused our efforts on improving education, housing, and economic development in our community. I was also the General Sales and Marketing Manager for YourTel America. I studied pre-med and biology at Midland University, and am married to my husband Kyle. Our three kids are Adam, Ariel, and Christian, and I am so proud of the young adults they all are becoming.

Campaign website/Facebook/Social Media:

JeannaRepass.com
Facebook: Jeanna Repass for Kansas
Instagram: @RepassForKansas
Twitter: @JeannaRepass
P.O. Box 24284 Overland Park, KS 66283

If you are elected, what are the first three things that you want to accomplish?

As Secretary of State, my priority will be as chief elections officer. Therefore, 1. Voting rights and security will be a multi-pronged approach. I will work in tandem with the counties to adequately provide funding, including staffing, and to troubleshoot the execution of SB 130. I will also advocate for election day to be a statewide holiday so more people can have more opportunities to take part in the democratic process, no matter their mobility and employment circumstances.

In addition, I will prioritize 2. A more accessible Secretary of State website for online forms and other basic support so that people who wish to start or maintain a small business in Kansas can do so without needing to know computer programming. Also, 3. As an overseer of a large office, I will work to restore trust in this office and in our voting rights through frequent communication with constituents, and with far more transparency about what this office does. This will be done through in-person events and constituent email and phone followup, as well as with better outbound communications through website and social media.

What are your thoughts on election integrity in Kansas? Across the United States? Would you change the election process and how?

I believe with every fiber of my being that America is the greatest country on the earth – the great democratic experiment that is rooted in the most noble concepts of liberty, freedom, justice and equality of all people. But that democratic experiment isn’t a gift, or something we can take for granted. It requires hard work to maintain and improve, it needs to be protected. I intend to do that work for the people of Kansas. Kansas needs a return to functional democracy. The incumbent is burdened with a long and ongoing scandal of his own making – he still has not released the 45,000 provisional ballots that he has been keeping under lock and key since the 2020 election. With mounting legal challenges, and his refusal to comply with repeated inquiries, we’re seeing that the people of Kansas are agitating for change.

My election to the Secretary of State’s office is the change that Kansas needs; in light of the toxic pushback against Secretary of State offices nationwide, my commitment to transparency and trust is how we can begin to restore the grounding in our democracy systems. The kinds of expensive partisan stunts that we see from this current office holder do nothing to protect election integrity or trust in the election process, and everything to discourage the people of Kansas to actively exercise their civil and Constitutional rights. As chief elections officer, I will protect and expand our rights to free and fair elections by increasing transparency of the Secretary of State’s office and election funding, increasing access to in-person voting locations, increasing access to safe, secure, and vetted vote by mail ballots and ballot drop boxes, and making election day a statewide holiday.

What is your opinion on the state of election security in Kansas? Would you do anything to change it?

While I have trust in our elections security as it stands, I do not believe that good should be the enemy of great. In order to increase trust in election security, we need to commit ourselves to more opportunities for Kansans to observe the ballot counting process, more transparency of the Secretary of State’s office, and also to better use digital communications to listen to and communicate with the public about what the office is doing to ensure that every vote is counted fairly and expediently. We need to bulk up our reporting system about lobbyists and campaign donations.

This can and must be done through an upgrade to the Secretary of State’s website with better integrated social media, along with greater staffing for Kansas elections, opening up and funding more voting access points with qualified, trained, and accountable elections workers who can monitor polling sites, confirm voting location and credentials for voters, and assist voters with registration. This mixture of digital and in-person support for Kansans can help provide a personal connection as well as infrastructure for accurate information about election laws, the voting process, and every Kansan’s rights as a voter. Building trust in election security means providing access to factual information and opportunities for Kansans to observe the voting process. After all, election security also means counting every vote and not forcing a recall when you disagree with the results, as the current office holder has done.

Would you change anything about the voting process in Kansas? Where do you stand on ranked-choice voting?

We need more access to voting so that no matter where you live in Kansas, whether rural or urban, near or far from a highway, or how good your Internet connection is, you can get helpful information about voting, stay up to date on your voter registration, and vote. I believe in election day becoming a state, if not national holiday, providing more access to mail-in ballots, hiring more elections workers, allowing for better viewing of the voting process, more training for volunteer elections observers and elections staff alike, and overall improving the integrity of the office after the scandalous actions taken by the current officer that included last year’s goose chase for a different election result on taxpayer dime. As Secretary of State, I am committed to free and fair elections and not interfering whenever I disagree with results. I would be willing to look into ranked-choice voting.

In addition, as part of the Secretary of State website overhaul, an updated website will also be an essential tool to help Kansans keep their voting information up to date, and help answer questions that Kansas may have about the voting process, deadlines for registration and voting, and more. Most certainly, this needs to be done in better coordination with plans for increased broadband in Kansas, so that internet access does not impact outcomes on people’s abilities to exercise their rights and use their voices.