- Associated Press - Monday, January 5, 2015

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota’s new Secretary of State is starting his term with a call to expand voting access.

Steve Simon was sworn in as the state’s top elections official Monday with other statewide officials at an inauguration ceremony in St. Paul. He replaces former Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, who retired after two terms.

A six-term Democratic lawmaker before winning the office in November, Simon has championed voting issues like the state’s new, no-excuse absentee voting law and earlier primaries.

Simon says he’ll work with anyone from any party to strengthen Minnesotans’ right to vote.

Among his priorities is pushing the August primary election back to June, passing an early voting law and streamlining voter registration for residents getting or renewing a driver’s license.

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