_6.2 average_____ 1. On a scale of
(0) most disagreement, to (5) neutral, to (20) most agreement, what is
your view on allowing voters to obtain absentee ballots strictly for
convenience, without having to declare a reason?
average____ 2. On a scale of (0) most disagreement, to (5)
neutral, to (10) most agreement, what is your view on whether runoff
elections should be called to decide the final outcome of extremely
average____ 3. On a scale of (0) most disagreement, to (5)
neutral, to (10) most agreement, what is your view on the question of
changing primary elections so that only the top two vote-getters,
regardless of party, advance to the general election?
Oshiro (10) (0) (_)
S. Dorfman (10) (10) (0)
ballots are not filled out in strict accordance with the stated
directions, they should not counted, period.
Jackie Underferth (10) (0) (7
Slocum (8) (5) (5)
believe that we should make access easier for voters and the system
should be more flexible and include the use of safe and secure
technology (telephone, computer, etc.) as an additional method of
I am less certain
about the notion of changes in Primary Elections that allow the top
two vote getters to advance to the General Election without regard to
I testified in
support of the Senate version of the June Primary proposal about two
weeks ago; Joe Mansky was there but did not testify. The State DFL
Chair Brian Melendez and Secretary of State Mark Ritchie joined me in
Lutz (9) (1) (9)
Conklin (10) (0) (5)
H. Hauge (9) (2) (9)
Mansky has some great ideas gathered from many years of experience.
Broden (0) (0) (0)
The absentee ballot is just that: absentee with a cause stated. Voting
is a citizen responsibility that should not be turned into a game of
convenience. I will consider some limited extension of the concept of
absentee for other that hard reasons but that should be worked out in
a working session of serious people not political opportunists.
Question 2: We have a process to follow let's use it. Adding another
option is just not working the system.
Question 3: I see not benefit of this type of adjustment to the
White (2) (2) (9)
Donald Anderson (9) (0) (3)
the percentage of errors in absentee ballots are similar in all
elections. Thus after a review of the ballots let's not spend the time
to argue each dot and erasure and pick the winner based on properly
filled out ballots.
Jacobson (10) (5) (10)
Milton (10) (10) (10)
I believe we are
crazy in the USA to make it so difficult to vote . . . why not let
people vote over a weekend in Sept or Oct and also allow those who
can't be at home to vote get absentee ballots. Put our money into
disallowing multiple votes by the same person. And why do we vote on
the second Tuesday of November?
Question 1: It
worked just fine in the 1800s when the USA was mainly an agricultural
society . . . is that still a good reason?
Republicans want people that vote to have higher levels of education
and income, mistrusting the average person who has neither . . . goes
back to the founders (virtually all slave owners and white men of
property) jealously guarding the vote against people without property,
women, minorities, etc. That said, we keep the blinders on and have a
relatively low % of participation . . . then we play games with the
alleged "voter fraud" (practically nonexistent), and let judges decide
who becomes President and US Senator . . . madness!
Question 3: Since
mid-1990's, Amy Klobuchar is the only statewide candidate to get more
than 50% (not Coleman, not Pawlenty).
C. Johnson (8) (6) (9)
and Pat Davies (10) (0) (0)
Swenson (0) (0) (0)
Quie (0) (10) (8)
I like an earlier
primary so candidates have 3 months or more to campaign for the
general election. Also, I like the idea of anyone endorsed by their
party by 20% or more be able to go to the primary election. In fact,
if I was a candidate now I would again announce that I was going to
the primary even if I was not endorsed.
Clarence Shallbetter (6) (10) (9)
Branning (0) (10) (0)
Halstead (10) (10) (0)
Allebach (3) (9) (0)
Hamm (6) (6) (1)
Question 1: I am
not convinced that this change would do anything but increase the
number of rejected ballots from eligible voters. The high number of
rejected ballots and the variation in reasoning for their rejection
was not addressed here.
Question 2: While
it may have been more expedient in this case, I agree with the
assessment that the turnout would drop drastically making validity an
Question 3: No.
That eliminates any chance for a third party candidate. I would
strongly support IRV over this.
Gerald Simonson (3) (6) (4)
Robert J. Brown (0) (8) (10)
disagree with Mr. Mansky on the issue of voter identification,
particularly in cases of election day registration. As I recall the
first year we had election day registration one community (I believe
it was Bloomington) send out follow-up cards to election day
registrants and found a significant number (20% sticks in my mind)
undeliverable. Has anyone tried to do that since?
Question 1: I
agree with the caucus member who referred to the honor and possible
sacrifice to be able to vote – voting historically has been very
convenient (and usually required) in totalitarian states, but that
does not necessarily lead to good government.
Despite the allegations that ours is as good an election system as
possible it is obvious that there are too many flaws in the system as
revealed by the current contest. Therefore, I would support a runoff
unless the flaws can be corrected. Some of those flaws deal with
inconsistent application of standards for absentee ballots and others
deal with poorly trained or incompetent administration of the
elections. In talking to my friends from other parts of the country
they don’t see Minnesota in 2008 much different than Florida in 2000
in terms of election administration.
could help get more mainstream candidates on the ballot, particularly
in districts that are dominantly one party. Now a small group can
manipulate the caucuses and nominate an extreme candidate for the
majority party and that person will surely win. If a responsible
candidate from that party could not get the endorsement from the
caucus he could still take his case to the broader electorate.
S. Adams (8) (3) (5)
Marianne Curry (10) (10) (10)
Eugene Piccolo (7.5) (10) (0)
Branstad (10) (0) (4)
Question 1: I
believe the comment about voting honor / sacrifice vs. convenience is
misguided. We are a democracy where EVERY CITIZEN has the right to
vote. It should be the duty of government to make voting as easy as
possible. Some states such as Oregon (and some precincts in rural MN)
have even gone to a vote-by-mail process. Allowing citizens to vote
absentee (even for convenience) is a positive for democracy, not a
To the idea that
it's nice to have everyone voting in the same place on the same day: I
agree that it can be a nice warm fuzzy feeling, but it's not like
we're holding a community potluck on Election Day. The reality is that
most people will vote as quickly as possible. Voting isn't a social
celebration, so we aren't missing out on all that much by allowing
early voting / absentee for convenience.
I fail to see any
reasonable downside to allowing early voting / absentee for
convenience that harms the democratic process.
In my opinion,
holding runoff elections instead of recounts is an extremely poor and
shortsighted idea. What if the runoff is extremely close? Do you have
a runoff for the runoff? The State of Minnesota has a tremendously
strong election system and the recount process could not be more fair
or transparent (biased candidate objections notwithstanding). Can the
recount process be made more smooth? Possibly, but holding runoff
elections instead of recounts is an expensive 'solution' that doesn't
really solve anything.
Question 3: I
think moving the primary to August, or allowing candidates to be
listed with multiple party endorsements are more pressing items that
would have a larger impact.
Dillon (0) (0) (0)
Bright Dornblaser (10) (0) (5)
Bill Frenzel (10) (0) (8)
Question 1: Now,
honest people have to lie to vote conveniently.
should count first election as best we can and stick with it.
Alden (9) (1) (1)
Shirley Heaton (10)(5) (0)
I can well
understand the basis for the issues raised in the voting process but
let's face it -- today's voter (compared with yesterday's) has
little patience to wait in line for anything even when it comes to
deciding the best for his/her quality of life today and in the future.
I'm not certain the best way to handle recounts (could it be we're
heading for the toss of the coin?) but as to the waiting for more than
half an hour to vote versus the comfort of doing so in one's home I
must say I'm glad to be in Florida where a voter merely has to advise
Supervisor of Elections of his/her preference to vote absentee and the
request is good for at least 2 elections, I believe. I must say --
happiness is getting the ballot in the mail box rather than heading
out to the polls. In other words, yes I vote absentee. Also, here, we
rely on photo ID -- not signature. Seems to work fairly well.
And from a
political standpoint -- it's kinda neat to be able to count votes
early enuf in order to determine where getting out the vote pressure
is required on election day.
Lampe (0) (10) (5)
must be processed immediately upon receipt, and the
voters must be immediately notified if the ballots are invalid for any
If this is not done, absentee or "early" voting should be discouraged.
I have worked with
voter and voting data for more than 20 years, and it is among the most
corrupt data on earth. The process for absentee voting in Minnesota is
laughably incompetent and flawed. The systematic flaws and unequal
handling of absentee ballots make it statistically and factually
impossible to determine who won the Minnesota Senate election.
Further, I see no interest or credible efforts on the part of the
Secretary of State to correct the systemic problems with voting in
Stone (0) (5) (5)
needs to be done on one day and with a voter photo ID unless there is
a compelling reason to permit otherwise. Elections must not only be
legitimate; they must also appear legitimate. For the voter, voting is
not a process; it is an event.
should be a low priority in elections. Designing election systems
around what passes for convenient
today will lead, logically, to an ongoing referendum in which issues
and candidates are voted upon from our cell phones and TV remote
controls. Pin numbers will be used unless remembering them proves
exposes our country to the risk of a fiasco should an assassination,
terrorist attack or other critical event occur just prior to November
4th. Campaigning to a dwindling voter pool, during early voting, is
not cost effective for either party.
In the event of a
close election involving a protracted post-election process, the
governor should have the authority to appoint a Congressional
placeholder who is neither candidate. This needs to be done because
taxation without representation has proven unpopular in the past.
Excusing the situation because it is self-inflicted by the
unrepresented, probably doesn't pass Constitutional muster. Neither
contested candidate should be seated because there is no basis to do
so until the prescribed legal process is exhausted.
Instead of seeing
Minnesota as one-twelfth short on its Congressional delegation, I see
Minnesota as 50% short of Senate representation; a far more serious
situation at a very critical time in our history.
The lack of
prosecution for voter fraud, among county attorneys, likely says more
about the appetite for such a costly investigation and/or prosecution
that it says about the alleged squeaky clean nature of Minnesota
Jennings (9) (0) (2)
Kuisle (0) (3) (3)
Question 2: This
depends on what level you are talking about. This one may have to have
one due to the fact that no one knows what ballots should be counted.
Swain (1) (10) (0)
Clements (10) (0) (0)
Question 1: Yes,
and those voters should be able to change their minds and cast a
different ballot on election day, at which point their absentee
ballot would be destroyed. This is needed to avoid a mass of ballots
cast for a candidate who somehow is not electable (thrown in jail?...
or something more tragic, such as happened with Senator Wellstone).
We do need to clean up our absentee ballot process, obviously, so that
there are not so many “procedurally illegal” ones.
This numeric is a
fooler because my response is only for certain circumstances. If the
winner has a majority of the votes, even though the election is razor
close, there should be no further voting. But I am so inclined to
favor a law that requires our leaders to be elected by a majority of
voters, that I would desire a runoff election (highly favoring taking
that vote at the time of the initial election in the form of ranking
our voting preferences – IRV) if the initial election does not provide
a majority winner.
I take this as a
measure intended to prevent “crossover” voting. If this were to be
the rule, people would hardly dare use their vote on someone in the
opposing party. Even though I see a need to do something to curb
crossover voting, I believe that each party should be able to have its
candidate on the ballot, subject to getting a certain % of the vote in
the previous election, or to a quantity of valid names on a petition,
as is now the case.
Kielkopf (10) (0) (0)
Schwarzkopf (0) (0) (0)
Many of the
problems in Minnesota's election last fall could be improved if adults
understood the civic responsibility for elections, how political
parties work, and followed the written information on the absentee
ballots or the information given to them at the polling place.
political party caucuses are not presidential preference primaries,
they are the beginning of the political party process over the next
two years and they may hold straw ballots on their
presidential candidates. Yet many people did not understand that.
I vote by absentee
ballot because I am an election judge in a different precinct than in
which I live. I follow the information given to me with my absentee
ballot and I have no problem with my ballot being counted. When a
person votes at the polls, they are shown how to fill in the oval on
the ballot. Yet, some voters draw their own ovals and fill them in,
some use check marks and don't fill in the oval, etc.
We need more civic
education in our schools to help future voters to understand voting
and political parties. Minnesota Kids Voting helps to bring this
about. As a Board member of Minneapolis Kids Voting, we have a very
difficult time raising $50,000 each year to have children go with
their parents to their polling place and vote on a ballot very similar
to the adults' ballot. But we are able to get over 600 volunteers to
put on the Kid Voting project in Minneapolis and who administer the
polls for the children. We are now working with the Minneapolis
public school teachers to develop a curriculum for teachers to use to
help K-12 students better understand their civic responsibilities.
Brazelton (10) (0) (8)
What bothers me
most about the problem with the absentee ballots is that errors by
clerks in processing the absentee ballots have resulted in
disenfranchisement of the voters, and this should never happen.
While I agree with Joe that our process is one of the best in the
country, I am glad that there is serious discussion about cleaning up
the problems we do find. Despite being one of the best, we can always
I also agree that requiring voter id at the polls is more political
than fraud preventative. It's a solution in search of a real problem,
and would serve to disenfranchise voters unnecessarily. There are too
many people whose lives are chaotic, poverty stricken or for other
reasons don't have ids and don't have the documents required to obtain
ids without incurring hardships and who would therefore give up on
voting. Legislators who vehemently push for voter ids know this, know
that it is their opponents' party who would
be disenfranchised, giving their own party the advantage, which is
exactly why they spend so much energy pushing this plan, despite the
fact that voter fraud is not a significant issue in Minnesota.
Question 1: No one polices the reasons anyway, so why bother, or
reward those who are very willing to lie?
Question 2: There are methods less costly to the taxpayers.
Carolyn Ring (0) (6) (2)
Question 1: So
much goes on in the last few days before an election. Example: the
unfortunate death of Wellstone after many had voted early "for
convenience" and they checked "out of the precinct election day" for
their reason, which they can do honestly, as usually, people are out
of their precinct sometime during election day.
Question 2: The cost and turn out are problems with a run-off.
Question 3: Whereas, I am a great believer in the 2 party system, I
do feel the 2 parties would have a great advantage and preclude the
possibility of a 3rd party building up participants. A 3rd party can
sometimes "wake up" the 2 major parties. Of course, they can also be
Ayotte (10) (8) (8)