ROOKE: Democrats Are Already Cooking Up New Election Law Shenanigans For 2024

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Mary Rooke Commentary and Analysis Writer
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Democrats in the Minnesota House of Representatives introduced a bill to drastically expand the state’s already progressive absentee ballot laws just in time for the 2024 presidential election.

The bill, HF 3447, requires county auditors and municipal clerks in Minnesota to place temporary voting locations on college and university campuses that ask for them. Democrat state Rep. Kristi Pursell argued during the House Elections Committee hearing on HF 3447 that it would “remove proven barriers to participation” despite the state’s existing laws that give ample opportunities and time for residents to vote.

“HF 3447 is an opportunity to ensure more college students are able to cast a ballot and perhaps for the first time,” Pursell said. She argues that many post-secondary campuses do not host election-day polling places, which causes a disparity in the number of voters.

“For example, in District 58A, where I represent, there are two small liberal arts colleges: one of which has an on-campus polling place on election day, one of which does not. And we see the pretty stark disparity in voter participation in each of those,” Pursell said. “HF 3447 will remove proven barriers to participation information, transportation, and time for young adults currently in colleges of all kinds of institutions across Minnesota. Given that young adults are least likely to own a car, and many 18- and 19-year-olds do not even have a driver’s license, it can be very difficult for them to reach early voting and Election Day voting sites.”

Minnesota’s election laws already allow for “no excuses needed” absentee and mail-in voting, giving voters over 40 days to cast a ballot before election day. Still, several Minnesota students argued in front of the committee that despite the state leading the nation in student voter turnout, their state’s laws were not inclusive enough. (ROOKE: One Big Thing Americans Can Learn From Tucker’s Putin Interview)

“Although historically, youth voter turnout has lagged behind other demographics, recent elections have seen a remarkable surge in participation among young voters,” University of Minnesota Twin Cities Campus student Karina Villeda told the committee. “Notably, Minnesota students have led the nation in student voter turnout over the past three elections. However, disparities persist. Stemming from unequal access to information, avenues for engagement, particularly across racial/ethnic lines, educational backgrounds, geographical regions, and age groups.”

Minnesota Republican state Rep. Ben Davis pushed back on the assertion that current state laws don’t allow an equal opportunity for college students to vote in a question-and-answer period with Pursell. Davis got Pursell to admit that Minnesota does not have any laws excluding eligible college students  (U.S. citizens 18 or older) from voting.

The state representative then calls HF 3447 an “unfunded mandate” for counties, adding that “college students already have the right to vote.”

“College students already have the right to vote. They have a month and a half—forty-six days to get that done. To vote,” Davis said. “But here we are going to set up a polling place on college campuses that we are going to expect the counties to take care of all the funding, the staffing, and the organizing for it. And again, this is going to increase costs when they already have a month and a half to vote. They already have the right to vote. I think this is very fiscally irresponsible for us once again, as the state wasting taxpayers’ money.”

Republican state Rep. Pam Altendorf said the fact that the bill allows colleges and universities with 1500 or more students to request an on-campus polling place is biased against Republican voters because it excludes smaller institutions, which are typically more conservative. “That is a concern to the public that we would be picking and choosing who we are driving to the polls to vote,” Altendorf said.

The Minnesota Association of County Officers (MACO) also opposed HF 3447 in written testimony sent to House Elections and Finance Policy Committee Chair state Rep. Mike Frieberg. (ROOKE: Trump Needs An Ultimate Wingman As His VP — The Pick Couldn’t Be More Obvious)

“We are concerned with the bill’s use of prescriptive language mandating county auditors to establish a polling place rather than current permissive language authorizing county auditors to designate absentee and early voting polling places prior to election day,” MACO wrote.

The organization represents the Minnesota County Recorders Association (MCRA), the Minnesota Association of County Auditors, Treasurers, and Financial Officers (MACATFO), and county officers from all 87 Minnesota Counties, including county election administrators.

The House Elections Committee voted to put HF 3447 to a floor vote on a Democrat party-line voice vote.

Daily Caller’s new documentary ‘Rigged: Death of the American Voter,” election experts detail how Democrats were able to unilaterally change election laws in states that allowed widespread election irregularities in the 2020 election.