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Friday, August 13, 2021

Election Integrity in Minnesota  

I have heard from so many constituents who are concerned about election security in our state. Like many of you, I share your concerns and want to make sure that Minnesota’s elections are fair, accurate, and maintain public confidence. There is a lot of work to do in this regard.

Earlier this week, some fellow legislators from the Minnesota House of Representatives and I attended the first day of an election security symposium. While there were significant questions presented about many things related to the last election, I came away unconvinced that there was a smoking gun pointing to a fixed election. That doesn't mean that the data to prove our election was tampered with doesn't exist. As of today, the data is incomplete and does not credibly show the relationship that the symposium sponsors said it did.

Regardless, the need to focus on election integrity and bringing forth necessary election reforms remains as important as ever.

For example, we know that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg donated $350 million to election office across the country. These election offices are the county and city departments that set up polling places, help people vote, and administer elections. In Minnesota, the city of Minneapolis received $2,297,342 and Ramsey County received $2,750,000.

Public election administrators should not be accepting private, potentially partisan, money from billionaires. Our election offices need to be managed and operated in a public, nonpartisan way. States like Iowa and Kansas have banned this practice, and we need to do the same thing here in Minnesota. Social media empires must not tamper with how our elections are run.

Another example of good, honest election security initiatives can be found in Georgia. In March, Governor Brian Kemp of Georgia signed a major elections bill into law. The law amplified voter ID requirements, set clear and commonsense rules for absentee ballots, and made it more difficult to cheat the system.

Implementing the Georgia election reforms and stopping private dollars from influencing our public election offices are exactly the kinds of ideas we need here in Minnesota. We need to focus our energies on these areas to make sure that they become a reality. Government transparency and integrity have been issues that I have championed ever since I was elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives. You can be sure that I will continue the fight to give you a government that is fair.

I encourage all of you to call your legislators and make your voices heard on these issues.

Steve Drazkowski

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