Controversial election bills heard this week

The Senate heard three controversial election-related bills this week. The bills would alter the way Minnesota seats presidential electors, reduce early voting options, and disclose personal election judge information.

Minnesota awards electoral votes on a winner-take-all basis like the majority of other states. The first bill proposed in State Government Finance would award one electoral vote each to the presidential candidate who wins each congressional district, which will dilute the electoral vote gain for whoever wins the statewide presidential race.

The second bill would put additional requirements on early in-person voting locations that local election officials set up to reduce congestion at main election offices and will have the effect of shutting down temporary and mobile polling locations prior to election day.

The final bill would require the Secretary of State to provide a list of all election judges, their addresses, and their party affiliation to the major political parties in Minnesota, which will jeopardize their privacy and could result in difficulty recruiting new election judges.

These three election bills are not supported by the Senate DFL caucus and do not accomplish our vision of expanding—rather than suppressing—voting rights, making it more convenient to vote, and ensuring adequate support of local election officials that administer our elections. (SF 429, SF 651, SF 652)