Editorial Roundup: Minnesotans vote because the election system works
Published 8:50 pm Tuesday, October 18, 2022
We have manners enough to not obnoxiously brag incessantly about it, but as Minnesotans, we are good at voting.
Facts back that up. In 2020 the state took top honors in voter turnout at 80 percent. And that wasn’t a fluke; Minnesota has regularly landed that top spot, including three elections in a row, according to the Secretary of State’s Office.
We are lucky to live in a state that makes voting accessible and convenient. That’s not the case across the country. Twenty-seven states still don’t allow voter registration on Election Day. A registration deadline well before the actual election when momentum in campaign races and voter awareness are increasing doesn’t make much sense.
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Although early voting, which started Sept. 23 in Minnesota, isn’t as popular this year as it was in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic was hitting the country harder, some voters are choosing to use it. Absentee voting in the state no longer requires a reason or excuse as it once did. Minnesota also allows online voter registration.
All of those measures are important to make voting as attainable and convenient as possible for any eligible person who wants to cast a ballot. Finding out where to vote as well as who and what are on your ballot — redistricting might have changed some of that — are easily available on the Minnesota Secretary of State Office’s website. (Visit sos.state.mn.us and click on Elections and Voting.)
Minnesota voters also know that their votes are safely handled with a paper ballot as the “cornerstone of ballot security,” as Nicollet County election official Jaci Kopet describes it. Tabulating machines are not connected to the internet, removing the risk of hacking. The counted votes are reviewed by local election officials and also reviewed several more times before certified by the state canvassing board, Kopet explained in a newsletter sent to all county residents.
Our elections have integrity and voters know it. That’s why Minnesotans participate in elections and trust that when the votes are tallied, their votes matter.
— Mankato Free Press, Oct. 17