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Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Special elections

There is a special election today for Senate Districts 19 and 43. Results are here.

In addition, there will be a special election for two seats (a House and a Senate seat) up in St. Cloud on December 27th. Yes, that's right: two days after Christmas. And who decided this? Our governor, Tim Pawlenty.

Since the legislature isn't going back into session until the beginning of March, the election could have been held any time between now and probably the middle of February. It's not like there is a rush for this. However, Republican tactics are to make elections as inconvenient as possible so as few people as possible show up. This is obviously the thinking behind the December 27th election date, but the reasoning goes further than that. Since St. Cloud is a college town, and since college students tend to vote Democratic, the election date was also almost certainly deliberately chosen to be at a time when school is not in session and students are not around, to ensure that the student vote is not heard. Real nice.

See, this is one of those things that demonstrate the fundamental difference between Republicans and Democrats. I think that voting in and of itself is a good thing, and something that should be as easy as possible. If that means more Republicans show up to the polls, that's great. The more, the merrier: high turnout is an end in itself. Republicans, though, will try to manipulate elections to make them as inconvenient as possible (two days before Thanksgiving, or two days after Christmas) to try and tilt things their way.

I don't think democracy is a club to be wielded against your opponents.


At 11:40 PM, November 22, 2005, Blogger Kevin from Minneapolis said...

College students are also highly likely to commit voter fraud. With same-day registration, students can show up, register and vote even if they are registered in another city or even state.

So really, calling the election during winter break should have no effect, because students who can vote - those who live in St. Cloud year-round and therefore qualify as local voters - will be there anyway and those registered at their official addresses outside St. Cloud will not be able to become St. Cloud residents for the day.

You would think the left would be happy that this obvious threat to the legitimacy of our elections is removed. Instead they are upset because their tried-and-true methods of election rigging were spoiled.

At 10:15 AM, November 23, 2005, Blogger Luke Francl said...

It's only fraud if the students vote in another district. There is nothing wrong with re-registering at the polls when you move.

Once again, Republicans spout off about Minnesota voter fraud, without any proof.

What they really hate is our high voter turnout. When will you get the point that Minnesota's election laws are an example to be emulated?

At 12:10 PM, November 23, 2005, Blogger Matt said...

Well, I won't tell those kids in Saint Cloud who skipped high school civics about absentee voting if you don't.

At 6:23 PM, November 23, 2005, Blogger MN Politics Guru said...

Wow. Wow. That's all I can say. Party Opposite, the law specifically says that students can vote either at their permanent address or at their school. The only requirement is that any vote live in Minnesota for 20 days and be 18 years old.

I'm sick and tired of Republicans screaming "voter fraud!" without offering any proof, let alone a conviction. What you are talking about, registering and voting for the December 27th special election having voted elsewhere in November, isn't even illegal, much less fraud.

The Republican attempts to depress voter turnout are not amusing.

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