Minnesota State Capitol

House to Consider Emergency Election Powers for Secretary Simon

On Tuesday, April 7th, beginning at 9:45 AM, the Government Operations Committee of the Minnesota House of Representatives will conduct a remote meeting to debate an as yet unnumbered bill authored by Rep. Dehn (D-59B). The bill authorizes the secretary of state to issue emergency orders related to the conduct of an election during “certain peacetime emergencies.”

The secretary of state has already signaled the sort of emergency orders he’d issue in a number of recent news pieces and editorials (example). Reducing the number of polling places, centralizing ballot tabulation, expanded no-excuse absentee voting (sometimes called “early voting”), moving to statewide mail balloting, as examples.

All of these proposals present problems for preserving election integrity. Centralizing voting and ballot counting locations takes away citizen and partisan oversight opportunities. Absentee and ballots by mail are more prone to fraud than in-person voting.

Video: Dan McGrath Testified Against Early Voting and other Integrity-Loosening Measures

Democrat operative Rahm Emanuel infamously said, “never let a crisis go to waste.” That seems to be an operating principle, here. The ideas being proffered to mitigate issues with the coronavirus pandemic have been floated by Secretary Simon and other democrat election officials in the past, outside of any crisis. These have been on their election reforms wish list for some time.


The public will be able to listen to the hearing, live via two links the House has set up.

TESTIFYING: Testimony will be limited. Please plan accordingly. If you would like to testify, please email the committee administrator (amanda.rudolph@house.mn) at least 2 hours before the start of the meeting and you will receive information on how to participate.

HANDOUTS: Handouts must be in PDF format and emailed by 3 p.m. the day before the meeting to the committee administrator.

There is also a second meeting scheduled on this proposal in the Subcommittee on Elections for Wednesday, April 8th at 9:45 AM.

UPDATE: The Above meetings have apparently been postponed.

TAKE ACTION: Contact the members of the Government Operations Committee, here – especially if your representative is on the committee! The very partisan, anti-integrity secretary of state should not be able to unilaterally change anything about our elections! The legislature should reserve 100% of this power to themselves.

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