LDS Dems-Idaho Interview: Holli Woodings for Secretary of State

LDS Dems-Idaho recently interviewed Holli Woodings about her current run for Idaho Secretary of State. Holli currently serves in the Idaho House of Representatives from District 19, Seat B.  We encourage you to learn more about her at

This interview was conducted by Jon Young, an LDS Democrat living in Boise, ID.

JON:  Holli, Thank you so much; it's an honor to speak with you. You've recently announced your run for Idaho secretary of state. Many people may not be very familiar with the position.  I honestly never heard of it until a bright orange card came in the mail asking me to send an annual report to the Secretary of State, Ben Ysursa for a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) I used for technology contracting. That was probably the easiest report I ever sent: just go online and let Idaho know I'm still in business. What other responsibilities fall under the Idaho secretary of state?

HOLLI:  Hi Jon, thank you for thinking to include me! I'm excited for your caucus as I have many LDS friends who think they're the only ones who identify politically as a Democrat rather than a Republican, so it's great to have an active, visible group to show them otherwise.

Your question is great because a lot of us respond to our orange card each year, and it's so easy to keep our business status up-to-date with the secretary of state's office. In addition to business filings, the secretary of state administers elections, a position that I see as one of the most important functions of the office - to keep voting in Idaho open and accessible to all eligible voters. The secretary also holds a seat on the Land Board, which oversees the management of our state endowment lands in order to fund education. Administratively, the office oversees use of the Great Seal of Idaho, licenses notaries public, administers the Idaho Health Care Directive Registry, issues trademarks, and enforces the campaign finance reporting.

JON:  You said “keep voting in Idaho open and accessible.” Do you see any current or future problems to correct with our voting system in Idaho?

HOLLI:  I see the key word as "keep." We actually have a great elections system here in Idaho and it's important that we keep it that way. There are opportunities to allow greater opportunities to register to vote, such as DMV registration or online registration that will help the homebound or those serving overseas.

JON:  Concerning campaign finance, when we voted on Propositions 1, 2, & 3, aka "The Luna Laws," a few years back, I was disturbed to hear New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg had donated $200,000 to a group supporting those measures. What, if anything, can you do to discourage or expose external donors whose interests likely do not align with the needs of Idahoans?

HOLLI:  The thing to remember is we wouldn't have even known about that contribution had our current secretary of state, Ben Ysursa, not been even handed in enforcing our campaign finance laws. The Sunshine Law was enacted by voter initiative in 1974 because Idahoans want to know where the money is coming from for campaigns and lobbyist expenditures. It's up to the secretary of state to enforce that law and is something I take seriously.

JON:  Since the secretary of state oversees both voting and campaign finance in Idaho, we need someone who can avoid picking a side in partisan battles. How might you ensure your efforts are equal or fair?

HOLLI:  By enforcing the law equally, regardless of which side of the issue an organization or individual represents, we can ensure fairness and accountability for all parties.

JON:  Please relate a few experiences that have prepared you to serve as the Idaho secretary of state?

HOLLI:  One of the best experiences to prepare me has been my position on the House State Affairs committee. This is where all legislation and rules put forth by the secretary of state's office are reviewed and either voted up or down. This role has given me the opportunity to become well versed in state election law, and allowed me to interact with our county elections officials in a meaningful way. Additionally, we review the rules of the office, such as records keeping and the Sunshine Law.

Outside of the legislature, I've registered both nonprofit organizations and LLCs, complied with Sunshine Law as a political candidate and as a lobbyist, and volunteered to help college students register to vote, all of which interface with the Secretary of State's office. The office has a fairly modest staff whose size is comparable to that of MetaGeek, the company my husband founded and we've grown over the past several years, so management of that size of office is something I'm very familiar with.

JON:  You have some great experience that we need in a Secretary of State. To wrap up this interview, do you have any additional l thoughts to share with voters?

HOLLI:  I want to thank you for the opportunity, Jon. The Secretary of State is such an important position in keeping our elections open and accessible for all eligible voters and promoting investment in our schools. It would be my honor to continue the legacy of fairness and serve as Idaho's next Secretary of State.

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