by Jeremy Griffith
American Millennium Online
(The Senate Elections Committee heard testimony Wednesday in regards to a bill proposed to expand early voting and absentee balloting in Minnesota elections. -Video from TheUptake.org)
Minnesota Senate Committee members heard testimony Wednesday debating whether or not it would be constitutional to expand early voting and absentee balloting, making it easier and convenient to cast a ballot in all primary and general elections.
Proponents of the bill, such as the Chairman of the Committee Sen. Katie Siebens who introduced the bill, says it is a myth that Minnesotans have early voting rights now and she says this bill will expand early voting and be more convenient for the voter.
Opponents say the bill may be unconstitutional and argue that it will make it easier to cheat in elections and harder to detect and prevent voter fraud. Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer and Minnesota Majority’s Dan McGrath both testified at the hearing in opposition of the new bill.
“(This bill) is extraordinarily dangerous for the integrity of our election system,” said McGrath. “We can simply not have every election convenience to make voting easier and at the same time have none of the features that other states employ to make cheating harder, unless our objective of course is to be governed by the candidates and parties who cheat the best.”
McGrath supported a controversial voter ID constitutional Amendment authored by Kiffmeyer that failed in the General Election last fall. He has championed Voter Integrity measures and uncovered instances of voter fraud sometimes leading in felony convictions for some.
In her testimony, Kiffmeyer called into question the legality of early voting and absentee balloting measures saying they conflicted with the single day general election as set forth in the constitution. She also called for a second look at current election law in regards to absentee balloting.