Ensuring that every eligible citizen is able to exercise their right to vote is a priority for LWV Minnesota.Our agenda for voting rights in the 21st century includes
- Restoring the right to vote for felons living in the community
- Establishing early voting in Minnesota
- Opposing photo ID requirements for voters
- Modernizing our voter registration system.
Restoring the right to vote for felons living in the community
Thousands of Minnesotans who cannot vote because of a felony conviction live in the community, hold jobs and pay taxes. The number of individuals disenfranchised because of a felony conviction has increased 400% since 1974 partly because Minnesota ranks fourth highest in the nation in the number of individuals per capita who are under community supervision (probation or parole). Although felon disenfranchisement affects all communities in Minnesota, the policy has a disproportionate impact on communities of color because of their disproportionate rate of incarceration. Restoring voting rights for parolees and probationers builds community ties. It also simplifies election administration. Thirteen states allow individuals on probation or parole to vote.
Learn more about restoring the vote.
Establishing early voting in Minnesota
Early voting allows voters the opportunity to cast their ballot in-person prior to Election Day on the same voting equipment as those used on Election Day rather than using an absentee ballot. Currently, 32 states have some form of early voting. Rather than having to wait until Election Day, those voters are able to find a date in the window of time available before Election Day to vote without having to worry about unanticipated health issues, irregular and uncertain work schedules, or any other complications that arise in modern life that may make it difficult to get to the polls. Minnesota does not yet allow for early voting. LWV Minnesota believes that doing so would help many eligible voters exercise their rights and be a step forward for voting rights.
Learn more about early voting.
Opposing Photo ID requirements for voters
Things are not always what they seem, and that is the case with calls to require photo ID from voters, including those already registered. Efforts to require photo ID in elections play on people's fears about voting fraud without the evidence to back up the claims. Proponents often rely on misinformation and flawed data about voter fraud and election administration, as well as exaggerated claims about the security a photo ID requirement can provide. In the mean time, approximately 10% of eligible voters do not have photo IDs and would have significant barriers to getting one in order to vote.
Learn more about the problems with photo ID requirements
Modernizing our voter registration system
Our voting rosters are the backbone of our election system. The accuracy of the lists of registered voters is critical for ensuring the integrity of the system, as well as making sure that citizens who have registered to vote are able to do so, hassle-free, on Election Day.
Learn more about how modernizing our voter registration will improve voting in Minnesota.