HD Media is running submitted questionnaires from candidates in the 2020 elections.
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NAME: Mac Warner
CANDIDATE FOR: West Virginia Secretary of State
HOME COUNTY: Kanawha
BIOGRAPHY: West Point, WVU Law, UVA Law Master’s Degree International Law, Command and General Staff College, Army Law School instructor, staff at US Army War College, Chief of International Law US Army Europe, military service in Panama, Haiti, Bosnia, Germany and other locations, State Department contractor five years in Afghanistan leading world’s largest Justice Sector Rule of Law Program. WV’s 30th.
1. What changes in current election laws would you recommend to make voting safer and more accessible?
Due to COVID-19, clerks sought options to run elections. They liked voters having to request absentee ballots, but still able to vote in person. I provided what they sought; we should keep: ability to open polls with only three poll workers; and allow clerks to process (not count) absentee ballots during the 10 days of early voting.
2. What changes need to be made in the way that campaign donor identities and campaign expenditures are made to the public?
WV undertook substantial campaign finance reform in the last legislative session, and that reform addressed some of the major issues that were needed. Heightened transparency, more frequent reporting, and fines for late filing of finance reports were some of the needed improvements. We can still encourage faster reporting of larger donations.
3. What would be your priorities for the Secretary of State’s office to accomplish in the next four years?
Continue to clean bad data, not people, from voter registration list, giving WV accurate turnout reporting for the first time in over a decade. Continue to improve the Business One-Stop I started in my first year. Continue improving internet and phone connectivity between state agencies to improve the customer service experience.
4. What experience, training or education do you have that would make you an effective Secretary of State?
I transformed the office: replaced the 2002 outdated system; put business platforms on-line for 24-7-365 access; it’s easier than ever to start a business; and elections are more secure than ever. It’s easy to vote and hard to cheat. My career of public service has trained me extensively to lead people, manage large systems, and serve customers.