Last year, Minnesotans began a conversation about Minnesota’s election system. This year that conversation continues at the State Capitol as legislators begin to consider important changes to Minnesota election law. Organizing Apprenticeship Project and many partner organizations are committed to ensuring access to voting rights. We are advocating that the legislature pass both early voting and restoration of voting rights this session.
Early voting allows voters to come into a local election official’s office in the days and weekends leading up to an election and cast a vote in person that day (proposed House File 334, no Senate bill yet). Restoration of voting rights restores the right to vote upon release from incarceration (proposed Senate File 107, no House bill yet).
Please contact your state legislator and let them know why you support early voting and restoration of voting rights.
Messages to share with legislators on early voting:
- Minnesota should modernize its system to provide more choice and convenience to voters. 32 other states now offer early voting, while Minnesota does not.
- Early voting saves money by reducing the number of absentee ballots. Local election officials support early voting.
- As a voice for voting rights, make sure that the chance to participate is truly available to all Minnesotans. Work schedules, child care responsibilities, and geography should not limit our right to vote.
Messages to share with legislators on voting rights restoration:
- If someone convicted of a crime has served their time and is living in the community again, it is only fair to restore their voting rights so they have the opportunity to make a positive contribution and participate in our democracy. North Dakota and 12 other states have adopted this model.
- Current Minnesota election law creates confusion for citizens who have had a criminal conviction. As a result, some vote when they should not, and others who are lawfully allowed to participate don’t. Allowing citizens to vote unless they are currently incarcerated makes it less confusing for both voters and election judges.
- Minnesota has some of the greatest racial disparities in our criminal justice system. Those disparities should not also impact voting rights and whose voices count on Election Day.