Protecting Our Vote Webinar

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: 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)