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DES MOINES, Iowa  —  From Drake University student to business owner to candidate for Secretary of State, Deidre DeJear says she’s ready to tackle her next mission.

“When I think about it, each dot has connected. I haven’t done anything unnatural, I guess,” she says.

On the 52nd anniversary of the Voting Rights Act, the 31-year-old made her announcement to run for the seat at her alma mater. It’s a decision she says came after seeing the lack of voter engagement in the 2016 election.

“We can’t blame or rely on campaigns and candidates to continue to instill this idea of civil engagement in the community. Iowans have to own that.”

Having worked behind the scenes on voter turnout efforts during the 2012 Obama campaign, DeJear is taking that experience in hopes of increasing voter turnout. She says it all starts with communication.

“Everybody knows when tax time is. Everyone should know when our primary elections are. They should know when our special elections are. They should know of every single opportunity there is to cast their vote. Iowans deserve the opportunity to vote,” she says.

She also plans to focus her campaign efforts on making the voting process more fair and accessible while drawing more attention to support the state’s small businesses.

When asked about her thoughts on the new voter ID bill passed last session, she agrees it could create a barrier for some people to vote but says she plans on tackling people’s concerns in different way.

“If we don’t communicate to people about how that bill is going to impact their right to vote, then we are doing them a disservice. I want to go above and beyond to make sure people understand how voting has changed and how that’s going to impact their process.”

DeJear joins the race with fellow Democrat Jim Mowrer, who is vying for the seat after two unsuccessful bids for Congress. The two will face off against Republican incumbent Paul Pate.

The primary election takes place on June 5th, 2018.