NORTH DAKOTA (KXNET) —  Throughout this week, KX News is interviewing all three Secretary of State candidates.

For our first candidate interview, Josh Meny sat down with DemNPL runner Dr. Jeffrey Powell.

So first question, why are you running for Secretary of State?

“I think one of the things we’ve seen in the last five election cycles [2014, 2016, 2018, 2020, 2022] is that we are seeing a greater appreciation for diversity across our society, we actually are seeing opportunities, where people are embracing this notion of we hold these truths to be self-evident, we’re all created equal. And we are seeing a second sociological effect that’s occurring, where there are people that are struggling with that kind of appreciation of diversity. And that’s showing up in our ballots, that showing up in the voting booth, we are having a conflict between those two definitions of what Liberty means, I want to be in the middle of that fight. And I want to make sure that Democracy and Liberty are a part of our characteristics of us as a state, us as a political entity. And I’m in this fight to make sure that I’m protecting freedom,” explained DemNPL candidate for Secretary of State Dr. Jeffrey Powell.

How does the Secretary of State promote and encourage diversity?

“So, we know that right now we have three ways that people have a chance to vote and that the voting can be done based upon a person’s need a family’s needs, so you can vote early. If you’re in one of the right counties, you can vote at your kitchen table and put it in the mail, put it in the Dropbox, where you can stand in line Tuesday. Diversity includes people that are on the clock on Tuesday and can’t go. Diversity means people that want to have that experience of standing in line and making sure that they are having that false sense of civic participation. The Secretary of State needs to make sure that our processes are such that freedom, that the opportunity of choice, is evident. But we also know that we had a situation in the June primaries where we had people that should have been entitled to vote, and their ID was correct, and we still had situations where they were prevented a ballot or at least had to do the provisional ballot because their ID even though it was issued, even though it was right, wasn’t accepted. We need to make sure that we are training our county commissioner or not our county commissioner our county auditors, to respect diversity in all its forms. And that includes people that are citizens that have a name that just doesn’t sound like a name you would expect,” explained Powell.

Charles Tuttle is a part of the counter-revolutionary wing of the North Dakota Republican Party that is attacking the Secretary of State, Al Jager, who is a Republican. What are your thoughts on Charles Tuttle’s candidacy for Secretary of State?

“I do think it’s interesting that conservatives in North Dakota actually get two choices. They can vote for the conservative who’s really about figuring out how to profit himself while he’s in office. Or they can vote for the conservative who’s interested in undermining our fate, our free and fair elections because he wants to turn back the clock. I think that both of them are ill-suited for the position. I don’t know which one I would recommend people vote for. But I do think that both of them are poor choices,” said Powell.