Today's Our View: Voting rights just for the right people?, follows that tradition as the editors castigate local Republican representative and ALEC made man Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa).
The editorial board writes:
You’ve got to hand it to the Minnesota Republicans who want to suppress the right to vote at all costs: They know how to follow the national GOP script and they don’t give up easily.
As part of that effort, two interest groups and four state representatives – including Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa – filed suit this week against Secretary of State Mark Ritchie.
Ritchie believes that a 2000 law involving electronic signatures means he can implement online registration for voters – and nearly 2,000 Minnesotans have used the service in recent weeks to register. . . .
While there certainly can be a difference of opinion about Ritchie’s interpretation of the law, it’s clear that the lawsuit is yet another attempt to keep people in our state from voting.
Here’s how we began our endorsement editorial two years ago recommending defeat of the partisan, petty, hateful push to force voter ID in Minnesota: “It would be so refreshing if proponents of Minnesota’s constitutional amendment to require photo identification to vote would just call the measure what it truly is: the voter-suppression act.”
Come to think of it, nothing has changed. It still would be refreshing if the opponents simply told the truth. . .
We wish the people filing the lawsuit would spare us the sanctimonious blather and just level with us: Your national-agenda, voter-suppression constitutional amendment gained support from only 46 percent of the voters in 2012, but you’re not giving up. You don’t want to make it easy for people to register and vote because they may not look like you or speak like you or agree with you or vote for you.
Please, just fess up.
Read the whole thing at the Winona Daily News. A reader asks in the comment section:
I'm anxious to find out if Draz is a dues paying member of ALEC and has been attending the wine and dine resort propaganda fests they sponsor where this kind of legislation (written by the likes of the Koch brothers) gets handed to him and then he comes back to introduce it as if he had written it himself.
Bluestem doesn't think Draz has been to any of the "resort propaganda fests," but Draz has been an ALEC mainstay in Minnesota politics for years, introducing and supporting ALEC model bills ranging from 2010's notorious SB1070 copycat bill, HF 3830 to his version of right-to-work legislation, and then there's that Tenther thang.
We once hoped Draz would propose outsourcing own job to corporate bill factory in bold redesign move.
But the legislative lawsuit isn't the only activity by the voter suppression crowd as the deer herd moves into rut. The Liberty Tea Party Patriots, who meet at the Maple Tavern in Maple Grove, will be hearing about a lawsuit to end same day registration in Minnesota, according to a posting on a Facebook event page created for the November 14 meeting.
Courthouse News Service reported in August that MN Can Keep Registering Election Day Voters:
Opponents of a Minnesota law that lets citizens register to vote on Election Day lack standing to allege a constitutional violation, the 8th Circuit ruled.
Under Minnesota law, an individual may register to vote at any time before the 20th day preceding any election; on the day of an election; or when submitting an absentee ballot, by enclosing a completed registration application.
To register before an election day, the individual must give their county auditor or the Minnesota Secretary of State a completed voter registration application (VRA) at least 20 days before the election. That application must include the individual's personal information and certification of voter eligibility. To register on the day of an election, an individual must appear in person, complete a VRA, take an oath and provide proof of residence.
The Minnesota Voters Alliance, the Minnesota Freedom Council and seven individuals challenged under the First, Fifth, Ninth and 14th Amendments. They argued that, by allowing Election Day registrants (EDRs) the right to vote without completely verifying their eligibility, these individuals could improperly cast votes that cannot be taken back.
A federal judge tossed the suit for failure to state a claim, lack of standing and failure to exhaust administrative remedies.
The 8th Circuit affirmed last week.
Read the decision at CNS. The Minnesota Voters Alliance and Minnesota Majority, along with four state representatives, are parties to the lawsuit against Ritchie.
Photo: Draz listens to people, understands their experiences, tries to suppress the rights of some of them to vote.
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