Go to endorsed Republican Secretary of State Dan Severson's website today, and you'll see the material captured in the screenshot above on the petition page under his causes menu. Click on "Read the Petition" and this text pops up:
In the 2010 election in Minnesota less than 5% of Minnesota’s active duty military members votes were counted. Current state policy is to count those votes last after all others. We believe that our active duty military vote should be counted first and in its entirety. If you agree, please sign the petition below. This petition will be delivered on 9/11 to Mark Ritchie, current Minnesota Secretary of State and Rep. Steve Simon, Chair of the Minnesota House of Representatives Elections Committee.
Tell them you support the initiative to have our military’s vote counted first!
Severson also collected signatures for the petition at the Minnesota State Fair, as we noted in Dan Severson's claims about counting military ballots don't seem to be supported by facts.
In the post, we also checked out his claims, discovering that there is no state policy to count military absentee ballots last. In Chippewa County, where we live, the county auditor's staff counts all absentee ballots together, including those sent in by service members on active duty.
Since Thursday was September 11, we contacted the Office of the Secretary of State (OSS) and Representative Simon's office to see if the petition had been delivered, as those signing it had been promised.
OSS Communications Director Nathan Bowie emailed us to say, "No, we did not receive the petition." The legislative assistant to whom we spoke at Representative Simon's office said that no petition had been delivered on Thursday; she was at the office all day she noted.
We also contacted the House Elections committee administrator Jim Gelbmann to see if the committee had received it. The committee had not.
Curious, we emailed the Severson campaign to learn the fate of the petition. The campaign emailed back:
Hi Sally Jo, no we decided to do it next week right before they mail the ballot.
Given that individuals signed a petition stating that it would be delivered on September 11, a day on which we remember the attack on the Pentagon as well as that onthe towers in New York City, Bluestem has to wonder what's up with a campaign that changes plans without notice.
Moreover, we are left shaking our heads at a campaign that will time the promotion of inaccurate information about the process of counting absentee ballots cast by active members of the military to the distribution of those ballots.
For information about the process, we recommend that readers visit the Military and Overseas Absentee Voting page on the Minnesota Secretary of State's website.
As we have pointed out, counting ballots cast by active duty military personnel first does not address the issues of low voter participation by this set of voters. We encourage all readers who are eligible to vote in the state of Minnesota to do so.
If not delivering the petition, where's Dan?
Meanwhile, we'll try to see where Severson is campaigning. He bailed on an appearance Thursday at an event tweeted about by the Liberty Tea Party Patriots on September 7, and was not at the St. Charles rally last night with the other MNGOP constitutional officer candidates (screenshot above).
While he appears to have been part of the Consitutional Victory Cruise on September 8, there have been no Facebook state updates or photos posted on his Facebook page since August 30, and his twitter account's last activity was a retweet of a supporter's photo of Severson at a Little Mekong Night Market on September 6, after three tweets on September 1. Today's google news search for recent news isn't helpful.
We'll keep looking for him as we look at Stuff Dan Severson says.
With the retirement of Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, the OSS is an open seat. Severson is vying with endorsed DFL candidate Steve Simon, IP endorsee Bob Helland and Libertarian Party candidate Bob Odden, according to the filings at the OSS office.
Screenshots: Today's petition page (above); last night's MNGOP rally in St. Charles, via KTTC.
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