Clean Elections Minnesota is a non-profit, non-partisan group of Minnesotans concerned that the power of Big Money, Dark Money, and Corporate Money is overwhelming the public interest in local, state, and national elections. We're dedicated to educating ourselves and others about ways to maintain and enhance the democratic power of ordinary citizens. Follow us on Twitter (@CleanMinnesota) and like us on Facebook.
For more about our activities since incorporating as a 501c3 in 2017, click on the Our Accomplishments link under "About" in the menu bar at the of this page.
To contribute online, click the donate button. To donate by mail, make a check payable to Clean Elections Minnesota and mail to Clean Elections MN Treasurer, 292 Ryan Avenue., Saint Paul, MN 55102. If you're in a retirement account and old enough to be subject to an annual required minimum distribution (RMD), you can reduce your taxable income by having all or part of the RMD sent directly from your retirement account to Clean Elections MN (or any other organization whose donations are tax deductible).
To start 2022 right, Clean Elections MN sponsored, along with a host of co-hosts, a live Zoom and Facebook event, “Protecting Our Vote” January 12. Special guests Senator Amy Klobuchar and Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon responded to questions crafted from registrants and presented by moderator Dave Hage, a Pulitzer Prize winning former Star Tribune reporter and opinion writer. A recording of the conversation is available here:
Among other topics the guests described the efforts in many states–some already signed into law–not only to limit voters’ access to the polls but to allow state legislatures to override voters choice for president and appoint an alternate slate of Electors. Minnesota’s elections received high praise from the Senator and the Secretary of State, but there is room for improvement; for example, Minnesota could establish a complete system of automatic voter registration, adding to the current “opt in” when applying for a driver license. Secretary Simon alluded to Minnesota’s nation-leading voter turnout–80% in 2020–as evidence that Minnesotans trust the security and reliability of our elections. The Senator described efforts in Congress to pass bills to protect our vote against efforts to subvert it. At the end, both suggest ways we can help protect our vote–the foundation of our democracy. Here’s a couple:
- Steve Simon said we should first stand by the truth that 2020 election was legit. Second, watch and point out to others what’s happening nationally to obstruct voting. Point to MN as an example of how to do it right.
- Amy Klobuchar pointed out how election officials and workers are being harassed and threatened. Threats against AZ Secretary of State and in another state, officials’ family members addresses were put out on the internet. Poll workers are becoming afraid to serve due to threats. And 9,600 threats against members of Congress.
You can also be a part of the process, learn about the Minnesota election system from the inside, and serve your community by signing up to work as an “election judge.” These are not actual courtroom judges, but temporary employees who serve in many capacities at polling places. There are as many as 30,000 judges on election days, balanced by party preference. So there is a lot of opportunity here for everyone. Learn more at the website of the Secretary of State: https://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/get-involved/become-an-election-judge/. Students age 16 and 17 can also sign up to serve as trainees. Great idea for high school civics classes.
The webinar was hosted by Clean Elections Minnesota with co-hosts Minnesota League of Women Voters, Common Cause Minnesota, RepresentUs MN, American Promise MN, Plymouth Area Indivisible and IndivisibleMN03, Minnesota Commission of the Deaf, DeafBlind, and Hard of Hearing. (CART and ASL Provided)
Don’t miss the fall issue of our quarterly newsletter, the Clean Elections Advocate. It includes a recap of the recent Wattson/Sturdevant webinar on the troubled history of Minnesota’s quadrennial redistricting and a proposed solution. The best solution is a national one that puts all states on an equal footing. And that’s in the Freedom to Vote Act that the Senate needs to pass. Soon. And there are other good things for democracy in the Act. We repeat: Pass it, please. Soon. Editor Ron Bardal weighs in on the filibuster. It’s not in the Constitution, but is in the way of–among things–passing the Freedom to Vote Act. Minnesota Senator Klobuchar has been on this case for months. Give her a thank-you call. Also of importance in the Advocate: We’re looking to add a paid position to our all-volunteer organization: Executive Director. This will require–here it comes–money. Contributions welcome. (Back issues of the newsletter are also available under the Resources tab above.)
On September 28, Peter Wattson explained the process of drawing new district maps based on population changes determined by the 2020 census. Responding to questions posed by journalist and author Lori Sturdevant, Wattson clarified the importance of the redistricting process, sketched its checkered history in Minnesota, explained the political pressures that drive interested legislators to distort maps in the interest of themselves and favored constituents, and described a process that could eliminate the inherent conflicts that drive legislators. The entire webinar is available on YouTube: Click here to watch. To study Peter’s Powerpoint slides click: MN Redistricting 2021-09-28 full-page color.
A handout is available here:”MN Redistricting 2021-09-28 B&W handout.
Redistricting is not only a crucial element in keeping our democracy consistent with changes in population, it has elements of drama and intrigue. Check it Wattson and Sturdevant’s excellent show. And then contact your legislator to weigh in. (See below for details on participation.)
Democracy depends on all of our efforts.