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On-Line Registration - Just Pass A Bill And Make It Official

Category: Voting
Posted: 12/15/13 20:24, Edited: 12/15/13 20:24

by Dave Mindeman

I think the reason that voter suppression groups and GOP lawmakers have filed suit against the on-line voter registration initiative is that Secretary of State Mark Ritchie is for it.

The GOP "says" they have nothing against the actual process, just that it should stop....

The Minnesota Voters Alliance and Minnesota Majority took Minn. Secretary of State Mark Ritchie to court, in an effort to dismantle the online voter registration system he launched in late September.

"At this point the Secretary should just stop, just stop doing online voter registration until this matter is settled," Dan McGrath of Minnesota Majority, a conservative policy organization, told KARE after the hearing ended.

....What is at issue is whether the online mechanism for delivering that information is permitted by state law.

That law, explicitly referring to voter registration, was put in place before online registration was even conceived. And we now do a lot of official state business without the person being present ....because we want to.

Ritchie defends the use of the Internet for registration on the Uniform Electronic Transaction Act, passed by the state legislature in the year 2000. The law permits electronic signatures to be substituted for paper signatures when if comes to state business.

What is really foolish about this is that the registration online is the same thing as registration by mail. Same principle, same form, same non-present signature....just without the mailing delay.

I don't know how the judge will rule. He may well stop this type of registration as not being "expressly" allowed by state law.

But even if the judge rules that way, the legislature can still fix this by just passing a bill that says "Yeah, go ahead".

Why are Republicans always fighting voting simplicity and access? If we can make it easier to register and easier to vote - they are simply against it. In all forms.

Why is that? I think you know.
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MN GOP: Finds Another Way To Be Anti-Voting

Category: Voting
Posted: 11/04/13 22:09

by Dave Mindeman

It is getting to the point that one has to wonder if Republicans are simply anti-voting.

In every electoral instance they are hoping for low turnout or are trying to find legal obstructions to legal voters.

New case in point....

Representatives Steve Drazkowski; Jim Newberger, R-Becker; Ernie Leidiger, R-Mayer; and Mary Franson, R-Alexandria, along with Minnesota Majority and the Minnesota Voters Alliance have filed suit to block Secretary of State Mark Ritchie from moving ahead with on-line voter registration. And you can be forgiven if you are not sure of the reason....because the best I can come up with is -- Mark Ritchie suggested it.

Here is how Rep. Steve Drazkowski put it:

"Online registration could be the best thing since sliced bread; it could be the worst thing since the plague. We don't know," Said Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, who is listed as one of the plaintiffs on the lawsuit. "At this point it simply doesn't matter. The Minnesota Legislature did not take public testimony to discuss online voter legislation."

Word has it that about 2000 Minnesotans have taken advantage of the on-line convenience, but the GOP wants to shut it all down.

When a legal opinion was asked for previously, Legislative Auditor Jim Nobles rendered an opinion that agreed with a House researcher. It said this....

"In my opinion, implementing online voter registration through legislative enactment is the more sound legal approach to this type of policy change," House researcher Matt Gehring wrote in a letter requested by legislative Republicans.

Notice that he didn't say it was illegal nor did he say it should be stopped. Only that it would be on a better legal ground if expressly stated by the legislature.

And the legislature could take it up next session. It could actually watch how online registration works and get a full look at its implementation prior to that time -- just by letting it continue.

Nope - GOP says shut it down. Can't have any rampid voter registration going on. Can't give voters a convenient method of registering. Nope - can't do that. Shut it down.

So, here we go again. The party that is so against frivolous lawsuits is hitting the state up for another one. (I say another one, because we just got done with a 6 figure tax travesty over Michael Brodkorb).

Let's just say it for what it is - The GOP is Anti-Voting.
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RCV Gets The Supreme Test On Tuesday - Let It Begin!

Category: Voting
Posted: 11/03/13 21:04

by Dave Mindeman

Ranked Choice Voting gets a major test on Tuesday with the Minneapolis mayoral election. It is a little bit unfortunate that the first major election involving RCV has to have 35 candidates involved. There are bound to be some problems involved with the "virtual" chaos of such an ungodly large field, but hopefully, all the officials involved will be trained enough to get it running smoothly.

Opponents of RCV are waiting in the wings with bated breath. And you know they will find something to criticize. I guess we will just have to let Tuesday play its way out.

Some of the good things from RCV. As a lot of people expected the negative campaigning was kept to a minimum. That is one advantage of RCV because you don't want to anger an opponents supporter if there is a chance of getting 2nd place support.

And then there is the absence of a primary - again, probably a good thing. First, you save the money spent on running an election with absurdly low turnout. Second, everybody gets their shot in the general. If there were a primary, the two top finishers would win with, more than likely, extraordinarily low percentages. 16% or 17% might have won. And then the rest of the field would feel like they didn't really get a full opportunity.

Jeanne Massey said on At Issue this morning that she feels this is going to be a "national test". Other venues are watching this closely and will be examining the aftermath. Again, it might have had a better chance to be more orderly with a single digit number of candidates.

But hey, you can't hold back the Democratic process when it is unleashed and Ranked Choice Voting gives that process a full chance to air it out.
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