I am deeply proud that Minnesota has a great secretary of state in Mark Ritchie, and that an equally pro-voter replacement for him is in the wings to succeed him in Democratic candidate Steve Simon. Ritchie and Simon stand in stark contrast to the worst Secretary of State in the nation, Kansas SOS Kris Kobach.
Minnesota has had the highest voter turnout, and elections that are considered a model for fair, honest and efficient.
If you are one of those voters who is not yet registered -- do it TODAY, National Voter Registration Day. You can do it Online, and if you are reading this, you are already on line, so no excuses!
from the Owatonna People's Press:
Thousands of Minnesotans have used the new online voter registration program, according to a release from the secretary of state.
Of the 8,092 people who took part, 2,938 were new registrants. The rest were voters updating their information. Waiting to be approved are 598 additional applications.
That’s good news for state Rep. Steve Simon, DFL-Hopkins, who authored the House bill that kept the system in place.
“What I would love to know — because this data didn’t break it down — is age ranges,” said Simon, who is running for secretary of state this fall. “One real possibility for online voter registration is that young people in particular will take to it.”
But Simon’s bill wasn’t the first introduction of online voter registration to the state. The figures released on Thursday represent the total since September 2013. That’s when the program started up a rocky path to state law.
It was originally implemented by current Secretary of State Mark Ritchie without a legislative vote. A lawsuit was later brought against Ritchie with claims that he overstepped his authority by creating the system.
In April, a Ramsey County District Judge John Guthmann ruled that the online registration system would have to be shut down. A day later the state Legislature passed the bill to keep it going, and the service continued without skipping a beat.
The bill had bipartisan support, and received “yes” votes from the legislators who represent Steele County in both chambers.
Another new election law this year allows for “no-excuse absentee ballots,” which Simon also authored. Before, requests had to be coupled with an explanation for missing Election Day.