In committee, we heard from advocates who were fighting for affordable insulin for their children, themselves, or in memory of a loved one. It’s incredibly important that this legislation is passed soon, and I hope my colleagues in the Senate come to the table in an open and transparent manner so that we can finally take this important step in insulin affordability.
You can read more about the Alec Smith Affordable Insulin Act here.
Protecting Your Voter Data
Minnesota’s presidential primary is on March 3, but early absentee voting is already taking place. This is our state’s first presidential primary since 1992, having recently been a caucus state. Due to difficulties around 2016’s presidential caucus, the Minnesota Legislature passed a law returning to the primary system. The change was made in response to what Minnesotans asked for, and it’s in that same spirit that I’m co-authoring legislation to protect voter data in the presidential primary.
As part of the primary process, voters will have to select a party ballot in order to participate, and my colleagues and I have heard from Minnesotans all over the state who aren’t comfortable with that information being shared. Minnesota has a history of not requiring voters to declare a political party, and while who you vote for will always remain a secret, current law allows your party ballot selection to be shared with the major political parties. The bill I’m supporting would not only restrict the major parties on what they can do with that information, it would allow voters the chance to opt-out of sharing their ballot selection.
This is a bipartisan bill with the support of the Minnesota Secretary of State, and you can read more about this issue here.
Help America Vote Act (HAVA) Funds
Last session saw a needlessly drawn-out battle over accessing federal dollars to protect our elections, also known as HAVA funds. It’s incredibly important that Minnesota holds safe and secure elections, and preparing for that takes time. While I’m grateful a compromise was reached last year that allowed Minnesota’s Secretary of State to make use of these funds, more HAVA dollars have become available, and we can’t afford a repeat of last year if we expect these resources to be utilized in a timely manner.
This week, I authored a bill that would make over $7 million in HAVA dollars available this year. The 2020 election is incredibly important, not just because of the presidential race but because of all the other offices on the ballot this year. Minnesota has long had secure elections, but we need to prepare for the worst in order to protect the integrity of the process and the results.
Our work at the Minnesota House is at its best when it’s open and responsive. Please feel free to reach out with any questions or comments you have on the legislative process. I’m best reached at (651) 296-3751 or email@example.com. I appreciate your input.
Rep. Michael V. Nelson