The battle over election integrity came to Minnesota today. The state’s Republican-controlled Senate passed a modest reform bill that includes provisional ballots. This is how the Senate GOP described the bill:
Improvements to election security will significantly increase integrity and transparency in Minnesota elections.
Minnesota is one of only three states in the nation that do not provide provisional ballots on Election Day. These ballots are for individuals who have not registered and would not otherwise be able to register same-day due to lack of identification but still want to vote. Individuals deemed by the courts, Secretary of State, or Department of Public Safety as challenged voters would also be included in the group to use provisional ballots. The voter is allowed to register and cast a ballot but given one week to prove eligibility in order for their vote to be counted.
Provisional ballots are a safe, easy measure, broadly accepted across the nation, to ensure each vote is treated equally and counted in a timely manner. A 2018 audit of Minnesota’s voter registration highlighted provisional ballots as a simple measure to prevent voter fraud. Perhaps most importantly, provisional ballots still allow eligible voters to register and vote on election day and their ballots receive the same protections as those who were registered ahead of time. Provisional ballots also prevent ineligible individuals, such as those serving a felony sentence, non-U.S. citizens, or those who do not meet residency requirements, from participating in the election and marginalizing their neighbor’s ballots.
“I want all Minnesotans to be encouraged to participate each election cycle, regardless of party,” Senator Mary Kiffmeyer, Chair of the State Government Committee, said Wednesday… “Studies show that individuals from each party have concerns about the security of tactics like ‘vouching’ at the polls because there is almost no way to track that. Commonsense measures like this are key to providing fair, free, and open elections in Minnesota.”
So the Republicans don’t want Minnesota to be one of only three states that don’t have provisional voting. What happened next? Within hours, the DFL party blasted out a hysterical email, in the name of left-wing Governor Tim Walz:
BREAKING: MN Senate GOP passes voter suppression bill on party-line vote
Following the lead of Trump, the My Pillow guy, and right-wing Republicans in Georgia, the Minnesota Senate GOP Majority today passed an atrocious voter suppression bill, advancing it to the Minnesota House.
This shameful Republican legislation would end same-day voter registration as we know it and force Election Day registrants to cast provisional ballots that could later be challenged.
Governor Walz and the House DFL Majority are fighting back, but they need our help RIGHT NOW to prove that Minnesotans are rallying in overwhelming numbers to protect their voting rights.
Add your name and tell the MN GOP Senate Majority: Stop attacking our democracy!
“Our democracy,” in Democratic Party lexicon, means voter fraud. But most people don’t buy it: My organization’s polling shows that 69 percent of Minnesotans support “requiring individuals to show a form of government-issued photo identification when they attempt to vote,” which actually would go beyond the current GOP bill. Further, 32 percent of Minnesotans say they are not confident in the integrity of our elections. The Democrats are apparently happy to ignore one-third of the state, but by any normal standard the fact that so many voters are concerned about the legitimacy of our elections is a serious problem.
My guess is that in many states, those numbers would be even higher. But enabling voter fraud has become a central goal of the Democratic Party, and they won’t let up until the voters make them stop.