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Legislative Update (4-5-19)

Friday, April 5, 2019

Friends,

I am receiving a large number of questions from people regarding H.F. 1603, a bill which would make significant changes to elections, voting rights, campaign finance, and redistricting.

As something of an FAQ email, I would like to pass along some points on the bill as it makes its way through the committee process:

First, the bill does indeed move Minnesota in to a group of states that would give all their delegates to the candidate that gets the most votes nationwide. That would be bad for Minnesota when you consider other states have several times again more residents. It also will damage the current system and allow all Minnesota delegates to be allotted by a few major cities – mostly on the east and west coasts.

What else does the bill do?

  1. Allows felons to vote before they have completed their full sentence.
    *I am not in favor of allowing voting to felons until they have completed their sentence.
  2. Allows for automatic voter registration when applying for a driver’s license.
    *This is also a bad idea. Especially when many if not most new drivers are 16 years old and too young to vote. It also creates problems when Democrats are trying to get Drivers licenses for those here illegally.
  3. Allows for people to automatically receive permanent absentee ballots.
    *We could be mailing ballots to people who no longer live in Minnesota.
  4. Takes away limits on the number of people any one person can help vote.
    *We worked hard to reduce this number from 7 to 3. If passed this allows for as many people as one person wants to vouch for.
  5. Allows for ranked voting in local elections.
    *I believe this will be confusing and very unnecessary.
  6. Removes the Legislature’s authority for redistricting, turning it over to an appointed commission.
    *Once more, the Legislature is giving their authority to unelected, appointed people. We need to do our job. If you don’t want to do it, don’t run for office.

This is a rather long list of problems with the bill and I oppose it. There is no Senate companion bill.

Another bill I plan to vote against is set to come to the House floor today. It would issue non-compliant (non-Real ID) driver’s licenses and state ID cards to undocumented immigrants. The list of concerns with this bill is a mile long and serious public safety issues could be caused in our state by opening this door. Not to mention this would create a whole new category of state driver’s licenses/ID cards to be administered by our MNLARS system that already is dysfunctional and unable to adequately perform its current duties. It’s not hard to imagine the problems that could result from adding this complicated layer to the system.

Until next time, have a good weekend.

-Steve

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