These Election Judges Want To Decide Who Can Vote

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Claiming that her “vote had been stolen since 2008,” a woman from Minneapolis who said she was an election judge stood outside the Ramsey County judicial center on Friday with about 40 others who said they were election judges. They were there to support a lawsuit filed by the conservative Minnesota Voters Alliance.

“We don’t like same day elections,” said another woman wearing a green “election judge” sticker, apparently referring to the same day voter registration that the MVA has opposed in the past. However, that wasn’t the stated object of this lawsuit. It was to force Minnesota to change its voting procedures with less than five days before the election and after more than 400,000 people already cast their ballots. The MVA wants election judges to have the power to refuse to give ballots to people who may be ineligible despite those people swearing an oath that they are eligible. If the voter lies and is ineligible, he or she could face five years in prison, a $10,000 fine or both.

“Minnesota law is very clear,” says Secretary of State communication director Ryan Furlong. “Challenged voters are allowed to vote if they answer questions put to them by election judges, while under oath, about eligibility in a way that indicates that they are eligible to vote (pursuant to 204C.12, subdivisions 2 and 3). Election judges are required to follow the law and unless a court rules otherwise, election officials, including election judges, do not have the authority to change this longstanding Minnesota statute.”

MN Voters Alliance supporters with “election judge” stickers say why there are there

“I’m appalled at the Secretary of State’s Steve Simon’s illegal policy contained in 2016 election judge guide,” said a woman from Shakopee who said she had been an election judge for four or five years. “And this is very typical of Democrat liberals departing from performing legal activities,” she said, apparently reading from a handout.

A woman wearing an “election judge” sticker who said she was from Steele County said, “Most of the registrations on the voter roster this year, the majority have registered on election day.” She may have been referring to past years, because election day isn’t for another five days. But she went on to make another claim about same day registration. “Not 10 to 20 percent like the Secretary of State says. Over 50 percent same-day registrations.”

While same-day registration statistics are not available on the Secretary of State’s website, it does show that Steele County has not had 50 percent year-on-year increases in voter registration. In the past 16 years, voter registration has increased only a total of 3,237 voters or 18.19 percent.

Video above: MN Voters Alliance supporters with “election judge” stickers talk about why there are here.
Video below: MN Voters Alliance news conference

Bill Sorem

Bill Sorem is a longtime advertising professional who started with Campbell Mithun and ended up with his own agency. After a tour as a sailing fleet manager in the Virgin Islands he turned to database programming as an independent consultant. He has written sailing guides for the British Virgin Islands and Belize, and written for a number of blogs. In 2010, he volunteered as a citizen journalist with The UpTake and has stayed on as a video reporter.

Michael McIntee

Michael McIntee is a former network TV news executive with more than 30 years of broadcasting experience. He began his broadcasting career at the University of Minnesota's student radio station. He is an expert producer, writer, video editor who has a fondness for new technology but denies that he is a geek. More about Michael McIntee »

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