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Letter: Take a closer look at voter status

By Leroy Vetsch, Mankato On April 15, a panel of the Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld the Ramsey County District Court decision (3-0) that election records in the Statewide Voter Registration System are public data and must be released to the Mi...

 By Leroy Vetsch, Mankato

 

On April 15, a panel of the Minnesota Court of Appeals upheld the Ramsey County District Court decision (3-0) that election records in the Statewide Voter Registration System are public data and must be released to the Minnesota Voters Alliance by Secretary of State Steve Simon.  The secretary said he is appealing this to the Minnesota Supreme Court.

 

This is a good ruling because Secretary of State Simon failed to look into the more than 26,000 individuals whose status was marked as “challenged” in the November 2016 election. These individuals failed an eligibility check, but were allowed to vote anyway. In addition, the secretary did not tell the Office of the Legislative Auditor about the existence of as many as 15,000 voters who registered to vote could not be found in the Social Security Administration’s database.

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When the Secretary of State’s Office releases voter information, those who are “challenged” or “inactive” aren’t released. So, the public only receives a partial list of the voter rolls. So, that means it is impossible to check the election database to see if it is consistent with the published vote totals. We need to have transparency in our elections to reduce and stop voter fraud.

 

Four judges have told Secretary Simon that he is acting contrary to the law by withholding information on thousands of voters whose status is “inactive,” “incomplete” and by not identifying the voter status of every voter, including the “challenged” voters who have failed one or more eligibility checks.

 

I believe “challenged” voters need to be given a provisional ballot to use and, once verification of their eligibility is established, then their vote would count instead of allowing them to vote without being identified as eligible. For every ineligible voter, an eligible voter is disenfranchised.

 

We should expect transparency from the Secretary of State and an election system that is above any hint of corruption. In addition to the use of provisional ballots, the Secretary of State’s Office should be more closely monitored and be required to be transparent according to law.  We don’t need politicization in our elections.

Related Topics: STEVE SIMON
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