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26
Apr
2016

PRESS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Minnesota Voters Alliance to file petition to MN Supreme Court

St. Paul, Minnesota, April 26, 2016—The Minnesota Voters Alliance (MVA) and its co-plaintiff, former state representative Kirk Stensrud, announced today that they will file a legal challenge against the Secretary of State and county election officials for permitting persons to vote who are known to be ineligible to vote.

The Secretary of State wrongfully directs election judges to permit known ineligible persons to vote such as non-citizens, convicted felons and vulnerable persons found by a court to be mentally incompetent to vote, as long as they swear they are eligible.

These continuing wrongful acts exceed the clear limits placed on election officials by Article VII, Section 1 of the Minnesota Constitution, violate Minnesota Statute 201.061, and defy unequivocal court orders (i.e., felons) directing election officials to not provide ballots to those specific individuals.

When the Minnesota Constitution says that felons “shall not be entitled or permitted to vote at any election in the state,” it must mean something. When Minnesota statute 201.061 says that ineligible persons may not register to vote, it must mean something. And when judges throughout the state restrict the right to vote of those convicted of a felony that too must mean something.

In this petition, we identify the specific wrongful acts of the Secretary of State and county election officials and show precisely how those acts disregard the constitution, violate statute, and undermine the judiciary.

We propose simple, effective, comprehensive, practical, and inexpensive corrections for these errors. The proposed remedies are necessary for protecting the validity and credibility of elections in Minnesota.

Media Contacts:
Andy Cilek – Minnesota Voters Alliance 612.990.2533 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Erick Kaardal – Mohrman, Kaardal & Erickson 612.341.1074 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Written by MN Voters Alliance   
 
25
Apr
2016

For IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA ADVISORY

On Tuesday, April 26, 2016, the Minnesota Voters Alliance (MVA) will be announcing the filing of its petition to the Minnesota Supreme Court demonstrating that specific election policies governing election-day voting and same-day registration violate the constraints of the Minnesota Constitution.

The Secretary of State wrongfully directs election judges to permit known ineligible persons to vote such as non-citizens, convicted felons and vulnerable persons found by a court to be mentally incompetent to vote, as long as they swear they are eligible.

A press conference has been scheduled at 11:00 a.m in Room 181, State Office Building, 100 Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd, St. Paul, MN 55155.

Former state representative Kirk Stensrud, Eden Prairie, is a co-plaintiff.

Media contacts:

Andrew Cilek – Minnesota Voters Alliance 612.990.2533

Erick Kaardal – Mohrman, Kaardal & Erickson, P.A. 612.341.1074

Written by MN Voters Alliance   
 
06
Feb
2016

February 13 at the Washington County Republicans meeting

Lake Elmo Inn beginning at 9 a.m.

We are concerned about a recurrence in the 2016 presidential election of what happened in 2008 with the election of Al Franken by a mere 312 votes out of 2.9 million cast.

In that race, more than 500,000 voters registered on election-day, voted, and had their eligibility verified after the election. Our data requests to the Minnesota Secretary of State have revealed that more than 48,000 of those 500,000 individuals could not be confirmed as eligible. Post-election analysis by the conservative group Minnesota Majority showed definitively that at least 1,000 ineligible felons voted in 2008. Eric Shawn of Fox News Channel interviewed ten people who were convicted of ineligible voting in 2008 and found that nine of them voted for Al Franken.

Written by MN Voters Alliance   
 
08
Jun
2015

The endless list of "priorities" announced by Gov. Dayton provides Minnesotans with an unobstructed understanding of his motives.

Dayton is misusing his power for partisan purposes by acting in bad faith to cover up his failings of leadership during the regular session.

He is treating the "special" session as a regular session to take a petulant second bite at the apple. That behavior is a continuation of the modus operandi of Democrats in the regular session during which they showed no respect for normal order and thorough vetting of election legislation.

In short, Dayton should be called out for disguising his quest for a line item veto as an emergency requiring a special session.

It is Mark Dayton who needs additional educational support. He should be told to grow up.

-- Andy Cilek

Originally posted June 8th, 2015

Written by MN Voters Alliance   
 
13
May
2015

The Minnesota Constitution prohibits felons from voting while on probation

  • Felons currently are allowed to vote—when they have finished parole and probation.

  • Article VII, Section 1 of the Minnesota Constitution says:

  • The following persons shall not be entitled or permitted to vote at any election in this state:
    A person not meeting the above requirements; a person who has been convicted of treason or felony, unless restored to civil rights;...
    [emphasis added]

  • Felons on parole or probation have not had their “civil rights restored” even if a statute tries to allow them to vote. Felons are “restored to civil rights” when they no longer have to report to a probation officer, when their restitution is fully paid, when they may associate with whomever they wish, when they may travel freely, and so forth. The plain text of the Minnesota Constitution is clear that until all of those restrictions are satisfied, a felon is not permitted to vote.

  • Proponents are unable to provide any legal basis or precedence for their view.

Allowing felons to vote before they have paid their debt does not make them law-abiding

  • The “Florida study” proponents cite does not support the proposition that allowing felons to vote changes their behavior, especially when rehabilitation programs have not been able to do so.

  • As former U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey has pointed out, the claims regarding Florida’s experience are bogus:

  • Florida has had, and indeed has broadened, a system that requires felons to go through an application process before their voting rights are restored. Obviously, those who are motivated to navigate such a process self-select as a group less likely to repeat their crimes. Suggesting that the automatic restoration of voting rights to all felons would lower recidivism is rather like suggesting that we can raise the incomes of all college students if we automatically grant them a college degree—because statistics show that people with college degrees have higher incomes than those without them. http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2015/02/felon-voting-and-unconstitutional- congressional-overreach#_ftnref43

Historic changes to election law must receive hearings in both the House and Senate

  • Far reaching change to election law must be done under thorough examination in committee, not via a reconciliation or floor amendment process during the intense waning days of a session.

  • There has been no bipartisan support in the Senate, where every Republican amendment to the Omnibus Election Policy Bill (SF455) was rejected by the Democrat majority. As a result, no Republican senator voted for passage.

Felons vote overwhelmingly Democratic

  • Proponents cite no basis, other than their personal “analysis,” in support of their claim that felons vote for Republicans and Democrats equally.

  • A recent study conducted by the Academy of Political and Social Sciences found that felons register as Democrats by more than 5 to 1 over Republicans in three states where registration by party affiliation is required, New Mexico, New York, and North Carolina. [Washington Examiner, January 1, 2014]

There is a longtime, long-term national effort by liberals to promote felon voting

  • The New York Times has opined that “The cleanest and fairest approach would be simply to remove the prohibitions on felon voting.” [New York Times, July 11, 2004]

  • Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder has called on states to repeal current laws prohibiting felons from voting [Washington Post, February 11, 2014]

  • No conservative organizations of any standing support allowing felons to vote before finishing their sentences.

The legislature should protect the integrity of our elections

  • Felons are not the victims here. Every convicted felon victimized others. Felons who are on probation are on probation for good reason, as determined by an extensive legal proceeding overseen by a judge.

  • The legislature should not be in the business of granting an unconstitutional partial “pardon” to every murderer, rapist, child molester, embezzler, and voter fraud criminal just because they “live in the community.”

  • The legislature should act in support of the criminal justice system and protect our elections from those who have yet to demonstrate they have trustworthiness and commitment to our laws.

Written by MN Voters Alliance   
 
06
May
2015

NIGHTTIME MEETING TODAY
Republicans in position to allow felons to vote

Dear Friends,

If protecting all of us against what is happening at the legislature were not so critically important, I would apologize for this unending series of messages.  As it is, though, you and the MVA simply must not let up in demonstrating to every Republican legislator that they are being observed and will be held accountable.  You are doing a terrific job at that and the reports we have received indicate you are being heard!

Here is the latest attempt to hornswoggle conservative legislators into enacting the election law agenda of Governor Mark Dayton and Secretary of State Steve Simon.

Tonight some time after 6:00 p.m., Wednesday, May 6, 2015, the Judiciary reconciliation committee will meet and produce a compromise between the Senate Judiciary bill and the House version.

Here is a side-by-side listing of the House and Senate versions:

http://www.mnvoters.org/images/sf878_felon-voting_house_vs_senate.pdf

If you notice, the House version (on the left) is BLANK, as it should be and should remain.

That is our message to the Republican members of the reconciliation committee: the conference report must not include any of the destructive Senate election provisions, including those allowing felons to vote before completing their sentences.

After all, the House has followed normal order in completely rejecting the Senate plan to game the election system by defying the Minnesota Constitution to create a new class of Democrat voters.

Working hand in glove with Dayton and Simon, the conference committe is now aiming at inserting historic election law change (felon voting) into a Judiciary bill where it doesn't belong, at the last minute, where it cannot be studied or amended by legislators with input from the public.

There are critical Republican members of the conference committee who need to be reminded that felon voting is non-negotiable. Please let these Republicans know that if felon voting is enacted through the Judiciary bill, they will be held accountable:

Name Position Email Address Phone District
Tony Cornish House Member This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 651-296-4240 23B
Jerry Hertaus House Member This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 651-296-9188 33A
David Senjem Senate Member
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it 651-296-3903 29

A conference committee is meant for resolving small differences between House and Senate versions aimed at the same goal and should NEVER produce a bill with provisions that have already been rejected by the full Republican House.

Andrew E. Cilek
Executive Director
Minnesota Voters Alliance
P.O. Box 4602
St. Paul MN 55104
www.MNVoters.org

Written by MN Voters Alliance   
 
05
May
2015

Minnesota felons should finish full sentences before being allowed to vote

There is a good reason liberal lawmakers and governors across the country are eager to pass laws allowing felons to vote. A recent study conducted by the Academy of Political and Social Sciences indicates that seven out of 10 convicts register as Democrats.The DFL-controlled Senate in Minnesota is leading the way with its recent passage of a bill allowing felons to vote while still on parole or probation.

Proponents of changing the law are focused almost entirely on what they view as good for the felon rather than being concerned with the rights of law-abiding citizens. Proponents claim that allowing newly released criminals to vote would keep them on the straight and narrow. If voting is such a strong motivator for felons, then the current system that rewards them after they have shown the ability to abide by the law is the proper policy. Felons are proud of having earned back their right to vote.

Proponents are trying to sell this idea to the citizens of Minnesota under the guise of being simply a “second chance” for felons. But felons already get a second chance in Minnesota when their right to vote is restored after they complete their sentences — unlike in Florida, Iowa, Kentucky and Virginia, where they are prohibited from voting for life.

 

Written by MN Voters Alliance   
 

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