Senate Majority Leader Erin Murphy Statement on Republican Effort to Eliminate Remote Voting

SAINT PAUL, Minn. On Friday, Republican senators moved a series of proposals in the Senate Rules and Administration Committee that would effectively end remote voting for members not physically present in a committee room or the Senate chamber. 

In response, Senate Majority Leader Erin Murphy issued the following statement:

“The timing of Republicans’ attempt to eliminate remote voting in the Senate is either careless or cruel. The use of this practice in the Senate dates back four years, to allow the Legislature to continue its work and limit the spread of COVID. Since that time, remote voting has proven invaluable to members on both sides of the aisle, including the late Senator David Tomassoni, who participated remotely following his diagnosis with ALS. Last session, it was available for mothers with newborns or sick kids at home, and for members who sustained injuries or needed surgery.

I would never have tried to deprive Senator Andrew Lang’s district from representation, even for one day, because of his service in the National Guard, and I would never have prevented Senator Steve Drazkowski from participating when he needed to travel to be with an ailing relative.

As everyone knows, our colleague Senator Kari Dziedzic is currently in treatment following a recurrence of cancer. Her commitment to serve the people of Minnesota during this difficult time should be applauded, not dismissed, and not fought through cynical rulemaking. I am calling on Senate Republicans to stop this fight over remote voting. One of our members needs it now, and almost all of them will need it some day. Remote voting has allowed more people from different walks of life, especially younger members who are starting or growing their families, to consider elected office. In the long run, that is better for Minnesotans.”

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Erin Murphy represents Senate District 64, which includes portions of the Saint Paul community.

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