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Minnesota election process in good shape

Minnesotans hold dear their right to vote and this year was no different. Nearly 80% of eligible voters participated in the November election, making us No. 1 in the nation in turnout. As in the Mankato region, the election was carried out smoothly all across the state.

And yet, a state Senate elections committee last week called by a former secretary of state clearly attempts to find something suspicious that’s not there.

Republican Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer, the committee chair, insists that the public has a right to inquire about the election system without having their motives questioned.

Her motives, however, are transparent, as are all of the other hearings, lawsuits and orchestrated attempts by President Donald Trump and some Republicans to uncover the fraud that isn’t there. Election officials, courts and straight-up facts all confirm the integrity of the election. Kiffmeyer even jumped onto the bandwagon to try to get the Texas attorney general to add Minnesota to the list of states in his lawsuit before the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to overturn the results of the presidential election.

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, along with election officials across the country, worked diligently to ensure people could safely vote during the pandemic. Republicans are desperately trying to find holes in a system that was successful.

Among Kiffmeyer’s concerns is that there were changes to rules for absentee balloting before the elections. As we’ve said all along, waiving the requirement of a witness signature made perfect sense during a pandemic when the safety of vulnerable voters was of utmost importance.

The conspiracy theories about dead people voting, data being stolen from computer systems and other such gossip are tiresome. As a former secretary of state, Kiffmeyer should recognize the integrity of Minnesota’s system and stop trying to find evidence that’s not there.

Simon stressed that his office has received no credible reports of fraud or voter misconduct. The Minnesota Supreme Court dismissed a lawsuit filed by Republicans that sought to overturn the certification of Minnesota election results.

Simon understandably has little patience for the lies being spread about the election process. His own family members have been harassed, he said. Elsewhere death threats have surfaced against those who have advocated for the integrity of the election process.

Continuing to question the integrity of a proven process only feeds the divisiveness that already plagues the nation.

Kiffmeyer and other Republicans should recognize reality and stop with the harmful accusations and trying to cast shadows of doubt. Minnesotans deserve better. They did their part and cast ballots in a legitimate election. Responsible lawmakers do not participate in ramping up dangerous misinformation campaigns.

— Mankato Free Press

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