Craig Hickman

Craig Hickman

Representative

Why should you be Secretary of State?

Inspired by the courage and example of voting rights legend John Lewis, I have been defending the right to vote ever since I was knee-high to a grasshopper. I tagged along with my father, a Tuskegee Airman, when he organized voter registration drives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, one of the most segregated cities in America. It is currently the target of efforts by the President of the United States to delegitimize and cast aside the Black vote and this troubles all of us greatly.

With the encouragement of colleagues, friends, and family, I have stepped up to become the Democratic nominee for Maine's next Secretary of State. Should my colleagues entrust me with this honor, I promise to always fight for the people, no matter their background, party affiliation, or district; to ensure that the lessons of Maine's whole history are applied in our quest to uproot the rhizomes of systemic racism and our relentless pursuit of healing and reconciliation and justice for all Maine people; and to protect the franchise of every eligible Maine voter, no matter what, because the fundamental and sacred right to vote is not only the cornerstone of our system of self-government, it is the lifeblood of our democracy.

Amidst a field of great choices, I remain steadfast in the belief that my lived experience, management skills, candor, and witness; my education, passion, and legislative achievements; and my proven leadership, determination, and integrity make me uniquely qualified for this crucial role at this fierce and urgent now.


Do you support the establishment of an online voter registration system in Maine?

Yes

We need to meet people where they are and make it as easy as possible for young people to engage. It's time to modernize our elections to the extent that resources allow.


Do you support Maine joining the Electronic Registration Information System (ERIC)? More information about ERIC can be found here: https://ericstates.org/

Maybe

The privacy of Mainers' identifying information is paramount. I like the idea of the system, but in these days of massive data breaches and sophisticated hacking efforts by very capable individuals and state-sanctioned foreign entities, I would need to feel confident that all of Mainers' sensitive information and data remains secure.


As a way to lower or eliminate barriers to voting, do you support providing pre-paid postage for mail-in ballots?

Yes

It's the right thing to do. A person who cannot afford postage and has no other way to participate except by mail should not be disenfranchised in any election.


Once the leader in voter turnout, Maine is losing ground to states like Colorado that have modernized and made continuous improvements to their election systems. How will you help modernize Maine's election systems to better meet the needs of voters?

During my two terms on the Committee on Veterans and Legal Affairs, I’ve become familiar with the contours and nuance of the laws governing elections. With the guidance of lawmakers, elections bureau experts, and advocates alike, I will continue to support measures and reforms that increase civic engagement, voter participation and unfettered access to the ballot box. Early voting, ongoing absentee balloting, online voter registration, certified and secure drop boxes, ballot tracing, text message notifications, and other measures previous considered or codified during the pandemic should continue to be considered and implemented, pending available resources. When every eligible voter feels compelled to vote in every single election—federal, state, and local—only then can we truly know to what the governed have consented.


What reforms do you think are needed, if any, at the Department of the Secretary of State and how will you include black, Indigenous and people of color (BIPOC) voices in these decisions?

As a person of color who has worked to increase social justice, racial justice, and economic justice for people of color for all of my adult life, I would make inclusion in any Department reforms the backbone of our decision-making processes. I would partner with the Permanent Commission on the Status of Racial, Indigenous and Maine Tribal Populations as well as the Coalition on Racial Equity. But first, I would assess the lay of the land across the department by listening to the expertise of the staff who know what works, what doesn't, and what may need improvement. As with any new endeavor, I will commence with ignorance and allow myself to be enlightened by those who know.


Would you like to add anything else?

Having put Maine on the map in a positive way following the Democratic National Convention Roll Call Across America, I believe that if I become Maine's next Secretary of State, I will continue to bring positive attention to our great state, attract more tourism, and boost Maine's economy.