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New Secretary of State seeks to change absentee voting

Diego Morales.JPG
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Posted at 10:25 AM, Jan 24, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-24 11:41:05-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Diego Morales is settling in as Indiana’s Secretary of State.

Weeks after taking his oath of office with his wife at his side, Morales is now focused on how Hoosiers will vote. He will be asking the legislature to require you to attach a government issued photo id- if you vote by mail which is currently not required.

We sat down with the Secretary of State, who’s office oversees several areas including elections, securities and auto dealership. His post as the top Elections Officer is drawing the greatest attention.

"We have several excuses right now in Indiana for you not to be able to vote in person, they're going to stay the same. That's exactly what I said," Morales said. "During the time that anybody can do that. The only thing that I'm asking is that you need to attach a copy of that photo. I'd make it a little more transparent, if you will."

I asked him if he would support the mass mailing of absentee ballots as done by some states across the country in the name of increasing access to the polls.

“I'm against that," Morales said. "I am going to support the traditional way.”

Morales plans to launch an education campaign soon with the goals of increasing voter registrations and building confidence in the system.

"Your vote is the most important to me, sacred, you know the right to vote — to me its privilege," Morales said. "So we need to do everything we can to make sure that you vote has been counted on Election Day."

He became a United States citizen after his parents moved from the Central America country of Guatemala and settled in Sellersburg in Clark County. He's the first Latino Secretary of State — who also speaks Spanish.

We spoke in Spanish when I asked about the negative state of politics. He said he was attacked a lot during the campaign and never went negative.

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Here's our exchange in English though this part of the interview was done in Spanish:

Rafael: "My final question. We are living in a moment when our politics are negative regardless of political party. What do you think?"

"Diego: "During the campaign they attacked me a lot, a lot. Maybe because I was Latino. I don't know. I hope you noticed that I never went negative nor did I mention my competitor's name."

Morales who initially questioned the results of the 2020 Presidential elections in an Op-Ed in March 2022 says that before the November 2022 he acknowledged that President Biden won the White House.

I asked what he wanted people to say when they said his name.

“Everyone knows that I love Indiana and America with all my heart and all I've been looking to do is give back. That's all I've been trying to do. And that's all I want people to know."

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