- This article is a follow-on to Kim Crockett's opinion piece that appeared in our last newsletter. That op-ed described why Minnesota voters should be concerned about Election Integrity in our state.
Voters of all stripes are increasingly feeling uneasy about election laws and election outcomes. Whereas Democrats raised concerns about voting equipment and “interference” after 2016, Republicans raised several alarms before and after Election Day 2020. The doubts about Trump’s loss linger and fester.
As a result, “election integrity” is of great interest to all fair-minded citizens, though there is little agreement about what that term means.
I’ve spoken to two dozen civic groups and media outlets since last November about what Minnesotans can do before 2022 to raise the level of confidence voters have in elections. People always ask me, “What can I do?” That is great because much needs to be done at the state and local level.
So where to begin at the BPOU and congressional district level? The answer is to get focused on elections; channel your inner Democrat and be a maniac about taking back the process, laws, and the jobs around elections.
Here are some achievable ideas that can be tackled by BPOUs and CD leaders working with MNGOP across the state:
These are practical, achievable tasks that can engage and energize all the volunteers who are eagerly asking, “What can I do to help?”
- MNGOP has a new Election Integrity Committee that wants to get 10,000 or more election judges signed up and trained for 2022. Volunteers can sign up at MNGOP by CLICKING HERE. You can also recruit volunteers at the BPOU level and then share the list with city and county election officials and MNGOP. City and county clerks, who are free to go outside of the party list and secretary of state’s list, provide training. Make sure your lists are up to date, with good contact data. All hands on deck!
- Work with MNGOP and local party officials to get election judges appointed and then trained to serve on absentee ballot boards—and insist that judges be allowed to accept and reject ballots---NOT just do clerical work. Same goes for getting election judges to serve on Election Day
- If you signed up to be an election judge, do not wait to be called. Introduce yourselves to election officials in your cities and at the county level. Make sure they know who you are and that you can either serve, or connect them with citizens to serve, on both absentee ballot boards and on Election Day. Officials are often very grateful for a local connection. Be friendly but firm; keep a log of your calls/emails, so if they ever claim they could not find enough Republicans, we can push back.
- If you live in a “mail-in” ballot city where registered voters automatically get a ballot in the mail (or have to drive to the county seat to vote in person), demand that your township/city go back to precinct-level, in-person voting—and offer to serve as an election judge. Make it easy for them to take back control of voting. If officials refuse, then replace them in the next election.
- Get new folks, especially young people, registered to vote. Ask people at church or books clubs if they are registered. Thirty percent of the people who attended the Trump rally in Duluth were not registered before they arrived, and they were not registered when they left. That would never happen at a Democratic event.
There is basic spade work that BPOU leaders can begin now as we prepare for 2022 and beyond.
The first task is to get educated; the second task is to shift the GOP focus from campaigns to elections. Let’s think and act strategically.
Kim Crockett has worked for the Center of the American Experiment, the Charlemagne Institute, and the Minnesota Voters Alliance. She is also a Vice Chair for Election Integrity on the Executive Committee of the Congressional District 3 Republicans.