"No-excuse absentee" and "early voting" to be heard in Senate Elections Committee, Wednesday
On Monday, Minnesota Majority testified against two election bills that would further erode Minnesota’s election system in the Senate Elections Committee. Those bills were held over for further consideration and amendments, so they aren’t moving now, and that’s good news!
The bad news is that two far more dangerous bills that threaten the integrity of Minnesota’s election system are coming up in a hearing on Wednesday.
SF 564 will expand the use of absentee ballots through “no-excuse absentee” voting and allow voters (for any or no reason) to become permanent absentee voters on a subscription basis. That means without having to apply before an election and request them, the absentee ballots will be automatically mailed to those voters in perpetuity.
SF 535 will create a new “early voting” system through which voters will cast live, ordinary ballots during a window beginning 15 days before an election. This is the most dangerous election law proposal likely to come before the legislature this session, opening wide the window for fraud, and decimating both citizen oversight and partisan election monitoring. The opportunities for voter fraud will be both greatly multiplied and unobservable. Early voters will be able to use “Election Day registration,” including vouching when they vote early, with no partisan observers or citizen election judges on-site to challenge suspicious activity.
Combining “no-excuse absentee” voting with early voting would severely damage oversight and integrity in Minnesota’s election system. Elections committee chair, Senator Katie Sieben (D-54) is the author of both bills.
If these bills are allowed to advance to enactment, they’ll give the old adage “vote early, vote often” a whole new dimension in Minnesota.