Posted: 10/19/14 01:06
by Dave Mindeman
I realize the Secretary of State race hasn't gotten a lot of attention. The constitutional offices don't get a lot of hype. But the debate on Almanac Friday night pretty much confirmed my first impressions of this race... which means that Steve Simon is the only logical choice for our next SOS.
Frankly, with the possible exception of Bob Helland, the Independence Party candidate, the rest of the field is a bit scary. Almanac invited 4 candidates including the IP and Libertarian candidates. The Libertarian candidate, Bob Odden, was...well....odd. Seemed to have more of the demeanor of a bar bouncer than the head of a Constitutional office. And as for the GOP's Dan Severeson? Well, he quotes Minnesota Majority and as far as I'm concerned that's a disqualifier all by itself.
One telling moment in the debate is when Dan Severson was touting some imaginary figure showing only 15% of the active military voted absentee... to which host Cathy Wurzer quoted the election stats from the SOS office - showing an actual figure of over 70%. Severson had little response other than "I'll have to check on that."
As I stated earlier, Bob Helland from the IP was not quite so scary. He made some good points and even realized that the SOS office is not just about voting.
However, even though it is hard to make the public aware in this down ballot race, Steve Simon stands head and shoulders above everyone as the most qualified candidate for Secretary of State.
I know a recent poll showed that Simon and Severson were pretty much tied at this juncture, but that just confirms the fact that the electorate hasn't paid any attention to this race.
Simon has worked on election law in the legislature for several years. And he has improved what is already a very good election system in Minnesota. He has upgraded the absentee ballot system to make it very easy to "vote from home" as he put it. I think we can rest assured that Steve Simon will continue to work on improving access to the voting booth and will look to continue Minnesota's tops in the nation turnouts.
Severson, on the other hand, is still supporting the failed photo ID regulation that was defeated 2 years ago. He continues to try and convince us that voter fraud is a "problem" in Minnesota. He makes up some foolish voting issue regarding military personnel that has little factual basis. Severson, who seems locked into Minnesota Majority's rampant fraud theory, has latched onto the GOP methodology of making the office of Secretary of State a partisan weapon for voter suppression.
Let's make sure we do not go there. Steve Simon is the clear choice.