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State office hopeful makes Peru pit stop

BRINGING BALANCE:From left: Indiana Secretary of State hopeful Jim Harper discusses his intent with Miami County Democratic Party Chair Charles Wagner at Aroma Coffee Shop Monday morning.

Brian Powers - bpowers@perutribune.com

Members of Miami County’s Democratic Party met with Secretary of State hopeful Jim Harper Monday morning as he continued to hit the campaign trail.

Harper, a current attorney who is looking toward his first elected position, said he has been canvassing all over the state.

The role of the Secretary of State is one of the more apolitical elected roles, according to Peru Mayor Gabe Greer.

“Whether the Secretary of State is a Democrat or a Republican should be irrelevant for the position,” Greer said.

The role Harper is hoping to fill is essentially the overseer of Hoosier voting.

“I would serve as the watchdog over the current establishment,” Harper said.

He spoke to Miami County residents at Aroma Coffee Shop on Broadway where he talked about some of what he aims to do if elected.

Harper said he has three main areas of focus for his time as Secretary: improve voter turn out, end gerrymandering and assist with strengthening the security of the voting process.

Harper said he intends on providing a more secure voting process by returning to the use of paper ballots.

Harper said his hopeful position is less about politics and more about balance and fairness.

“I want to make sure the elections don’t favor any party,” he said. “I just want to bring a little balance to the voting process.”

One of the main issues Harper talked about more in depth was voter turnout and how to improve it.

“I support longer voting hours, quicker voting by mail and same-day voting registration,” Harper said.

Harper also said his role as Secretary would focus on helping grow and promote small businesses around the state, saying there are some great programs available for such a purpose.

Harper said the office he is running for is also in charge of regulating auto dealerships, and vowed to not take any contributions from those businesses.

“I’d really like to see less money in politics in general,” Harper said.