Co- Chair Randy Sutter opened the March Dinner meeting by introducing GOP candidates from our District: Tyler Keenan (House District 49B) and Dario Anselmo (House District 49A). They gave overviews of their campaign programs, issues and asked participants for their support.
UPDATE: Tyler halted his campaign prior to the endorsing convention. Max Rymer declared shortly before the April 9 convention and was endorsed for the MN House 49B race.
Randy introduced the main presenter, Andy Cilek, Executive Director of the Minnesota Voters Alliance (MVA). Andy opened his comments by thanking the group for having him and said it felt good to see familiar faces.
Andy reviewed the MVA and its focus on defending liberty by protecting the voting process.
Andy asked: “How many believe it’s a good idea to have felons vote prior to serving their full sentences?” And “How many believe it’s a good idea for 16 year olds to register to vote?” In response to the lack of crowd approval, Andy pointed out that there are a number of Republicans who support such ideas. He gave examples of how elected politicians’ responses to questions are partial or misleading.
One of the main projects for MVA now is same-day voter registrations. The Minnesota election system allows ineligible persons who register on election-day to vote, accepting voter self-certification and failing to verify eligibility until after their votes are counted. The MVA goal is to force the state to check on a voter’s eligibility before they vote or, at a minimum, before their vote is counted.
Andy believes these actions are very important. He reminded the group that in 2008 Al Franken was elected by only 312 votes out of 2.9 million cast. In that race, more than 500,000 voters registered on Election Day, voted, and their eligibility was verified after the election had been decided. More than 48,000 of those voters could not be confirmed as eligible.
The MVA has committed to continue to challenge the Minnesota Secretary of State on these practices. They are going to the Supreme Court to stop ineligible voters from voting in every election.
Audience questions and discussion highlighted procedures for a variety of ineligible voter types. These undermine the integrity of the voting process. The audience strongly applauded Andy and the MVA for the vigorous defense of our voting process.