I am speaking URGENTLY to groups making sure they know how critical it is for absentee ballot boards to be comprised of party-balanced, citizen election judges (NOT GOVERNMENT STAFF). County boards are meeting right now all over the state to establish their absentee ballot boards for the Primary election in August. They’ll be appointing these boards again for the general election in a couple months.
These are the folks that will accept and reject absentee ballots. Remember that 58% of votes cast in 2020 were absentee.
It’s not enough just to have a token election judge or two. These boards must be comprised of enough election judges, half from each major party, to accept and reject ALL of the county’s absentee ballots. That will keep the vote honest and that is our goal. That goal is supported 100% by the language in our state statutes governing ballot boards (203B.121)
SOS Steve Simon (D) discourages counties and cities from following the party balance rule. He’s convinced them that citizen election judges are “unnecessary,” inefficient and that government, unionized staff are “unbiased” and better suited to accept and reject absentee ballots.
What can you do?
- Go to your county’s website to determine if a resolution has been passed establishing your absentee ballot board. If they’ve passed one for the Primary, ask when they will appoint for the general election.
- Get on the county commission agenda (DON’T TAKE NO FOR AN ANSWER!). Go to your county board meeting with other residents and demand your county use party-balanced citizen election judges to accept and reject ALL absentee ballots.
- Give this model resolution to your county auditor and county commissioners to use:
Resolution for Absentee Ballot Board:
BE IT RESOLVED, that the ______ County Board establishes the _____County Absentee Ballot Board for the purpose of processing and counting of absentee ballots; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the ______ County Board authorizes the inclusion to the ______ County Absentee Ballot Board election judges, whose number must be balanced by party as provided in sections 203B.121 and 204B.19 to 204B.22, and, if additional personnel are needed, deputy county auditors. The election-judge members of the Absentee Ballot Board must conduct the duties assigned to election judges by sections 203B.121, Subd. 2(b)(3), 203B.121, Subd. 4, and 206.86. All members of the Absentee Ballot Board may conduct other duties set forth by applicable law.
Remember ALWAYS TAKE A CROWD – IT WORKS!
- If the county does not cooperate, take action: recruit candidates to run against county commissioners and county auditor. If county auditor is an appointed position (some are), get a good person appointed. Recruit good people to take election-related jobs in cities and counties. Get INSIDE.
- Find out if the county requires temporary employees, like election judges, to be vaccinated against COVID. Voice your concerns to your county commissioners.
- Run for County Commissioner/Auditor: counties get to decide what kind of voting equipment is used in all the precincts for the county.
- Finally oppose any effort to add ballot drop boxes and ask county to remove any existing ballot boxes.
Thank you for doing your part to keep Minnesota’s election honest!
Don’t forget Steve Simon is fully funded and a formidable opponent with deep, state connections. Together we can and will defeat him!