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John Robert "Jay" Ashcroft (born July 12, 1973) is an American attorney, engineer, and politician serving as the 40th Secretary of State of Missouri. As Secretary of State, Ashcroft has pushed for stricter voter ID laws. He has made unsubstantiated claims about the extent of voter fraud.[1][2][3][4]

Jay Ashcroft
Jay Ashcroft.png
40th Secretary of State of Missouri
Assumed office
January 9, 2017
GovernorEric Greitens
Mike Parson
Preceded byJason Kander
Personal details
Born
John Robert Ashcroft

(1973-07-12) July 12, 1973 (age 46)
Jefferson City, Missouri, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
EducationUnited States Merchant Marine
Academy

Missouri University of Science and Technology
(BS, MS)
Saint Louis University (JD)

Early lifeEdit

Ashcroft is the son of politician John Ashcroft.[5]

Ashcroft attended the United States Merchant Marine Academy, but did not graduate.[6] He earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees from Missouri University of Science and Technology. He then worked as an engineer.[7] Ashcroft attended law school, earning his Juris Doctor from Saint Louis University.[8]

Political careerEdit

Ashcroft ran for the Missouri Senate in 2014,[9] losing to Jill Schupp.[5] He ran for Missouri Secretary of State in the 2016 elections. He defeated State Senator Will Kraus in the Republican Party primary election,[10] and former KMOV anchor Robin Smith in the general election.[11]

Voter ID lawsEdit

Ashcroft is a staunch supporter of stricter voter ID laws. Ashcroft's claims about voter fraud, as well as the need for photo ID laws to combat voter fraud, were a central aspect of his 2016 campaign for the office of Missouri Secretary of State.[12] He has asserted that voter fraud is common enough to have "changed elections."[1][4][13] There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in Missouri or anywhere else in the United States.[2] The type of voter fraud that would be addressed through Ashcroft's preferred legislation, which critics say suppresses turnout, is extremely rare.[3][2] In defending a push for stricter photo-ID laws, Ashcroft cited one instance where a couple illegally voted, but omitted that the photo-ID laws that Ashcroft was advocating for would not have prevented the couple from voting.[2] According to the Kansas City Star, "there has never been a reported case of voter impersonation fraud in Missouri."[12] In June 2018, Ashcroft said that voter fraud was "an exponentially greater threat than hacking."[12]

On July 3, 2017, Ashcroft said that he would comply with the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity's request for Missourians voting data.[14] At the time, Missouri became one of only three states to comply with the commission.[15] He said he would give out voters’ names, addresses, birthdates, where they voted and when.[16]

Investigation of Josh HawleyEdit

In December 2018, Ashcroft, who as Secretary of State does not have the power to issue subpoenas, asked Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway, who can issue subpoenas, to cooperate in an investigation of Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley for using public resources in the 2018 United States Senate election in Missouri.[17] This investigation has since ended. [18]

Ballot initiativesEdit

Ashcroft has backed a number of Republican proposals to reduce the number of Missouri ballot initiative petitions and make it harder for ballot initiatives to win approval in elections.[19]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b "Judge dismisses suit over Missouri's voter ID law". The Seattle Times. January 3, 2018. Archived from the original on June 20, 2018. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d "States push new voter requirements, fueled by Trump". NBC News. Archived from the original on June 17, 2018. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  3. ^ a b McDermott, Kevin. "Ashcroft defends Missouri's cooperation with Trump voter-fraud probe, as other states decline". stltoday.com. Archived from the original on August 27, 2018. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Could foreign hackers mess with Missouri elections? Jay Ashcroft doesn't think so". Springfield News-Leader. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  5. ^ a b Mannies, Jo (February 19, 2015). "Ashcroft jumps into open contest for Missouri secretary of state". KWMU. Archived from the original on February 20, 2015. Retrieved February 20, 2015.
  6. ^ Woehlk, Geoffrey (July 19, 2016). "Kraus, Ashcroft continue throwing shade ahead of primary". Archived from the original on February 13, 2017. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  7. ^ Bruce, Betsy (August 26, 2016). "Smith, Ashcroft discuss Missouri Secretary of State election". FOX2now.com. Archived from the original on October 8, 2016. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
  8. ^ Griffin, Marshall. "Missouri's next secretary of state will be a first-time officeholder". Archived from the original on February 13, 2017. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  9. ^ "Familiar Name Returns To Missouri Ballot". Archived from the original on November 11, 2016. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  10. ^ Phillips, Jeff. "Jay Ashcroft, son of ex-governor, wins Republican secretary of state primary". Archived from the original on February 13, 2017. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  11. ^ "Jay Ashcroft wins Secretary of State race". November 9, 2016. Archived from the original on November 14, 2016. Retrieved February 12, 2017.
  12. ^ a b c "Voter fraud much greater threat than election hacking, Missouri's Jay Ashcroft says". kansascity. Archived from the original on November 6, 2018. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
  13. ^ McDermott, Kevin. "Ashcroft defends Missouri's cooperation with Trump voter-fraud probe, as other states decline". stltoday.com. Archived from the original on August 27, 2018. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  14. ^ Cali, Michael. "Ashcroft to release Missourians' voting data to Trump commission".
  15. ^ CNN, Liz Stark and Grace Hauck. "44 states won't give some voter info to panel". CNN. Archived from the original on June 20, 2018. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  16. ^ Mannies, Jo. "Missouri Secretary of State responds to criticism over support for Trump voter-fraud panel". Archived from the original on June 21, 2018. Retrieved June 20, 2018.
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on December 11, 2018. Retrieved February 17, 2019.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  18. ^ https://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article226917029.html. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  19. ^ Hancock, Jason. "On the GOP's agenda: making it harder for Missouri voters to put issues on the ballot". kansascity. Retrieved April 4, 2019.

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Jason Kander
Secretary of State of Missouri
2017–present
Incumbent