Protecting democracy for the people begins at the ballot box. By giving democracy back to the people, not special interest groups, we put ourselves on a path to acknowledging that truth. The Senate DFL is committed to expanding voter access, preserving fair and secure elections, and recognizing that our First Amendment rights are paramount to who we are as a nation.

Expand voter accessibility and protect voter rights

The Senate DFL is committed to expanding – not suppressing – voter access and will continue to advocate for policies that make it more convenient and less onerous to vote. Expanding mail-in and absentee balloting (especially for people with disabilities and rural communities), extending early voting periods, and allowing voter pre-registration for 16-year-olds are some of the reforms that will ensure Minnesota continues to have the highest voter turnout in the nation.

Requiring voter IDs, as the Senate Republicans have put forth this session, is another attempt to suppress voter access at the polls. This is a failed proposal – defeated by constitutional amendment in 2012 – and a cynical attempt to limit the number of Minnesotans who vote. There is also language in their bill that would create a provisional ballot system, which would make it harder for people to vote, particularly those in underserved communities who might not have access to adequate transportation.

Preserving free and fair elections

Minnesota has a history of strong election integrity and one of the highest voter turnouts in the nation. Our election workers are trained well and take their jobs very seriously, and there are checks and balances embedded in the system to ensure our elections are free and fair. When Republican leaders question our free and fair elections, it sets us on a dangerous path with rippling effects throughout our communities.

Through paper ballots, comprehensive election audits, and voter eligibility verification by county election officials and the Secretary of State’s Office, Minnesota’s election systems remain trustworthy and verifiable. Part of ensuring that our elections remain free and fair also includes the creation of maps that actually represent the people. The legislature is charged with the incredible responsibility of redistricting, and we need to work together to create districts that are based on facts and representative of our populations. Senate DFLers will do our part to ensure these maps are both fair and representative of our state.