A PROPOSED BILL TO REVISE MINNESOTA POLITICAL PARTY DEFINITIONS (THUS PETITIONING CRITERIA)
TO ACHIEVE BALLOT ACCESS EQUITY AND INCLUSIVENESS
This proposal is a comprehensive set of reforms that will improve and modernize Minnesota’s outdated statutory definitions of political parties. It includes modifications to arbitrary petitioning requirements, percentages, and timelines that currently exist only to sustain two-party exclusivity in running for office.
Our goals are to bring Minnesota’s prohibitive ballot access standards fairly in-line with neighboring states, to eliminate unconstitutional restrictions, and to harmonize the various statutes; while at the same time maintaining robust system integrity that encourages democratic participation.
A formal request is hereby made for committee hearings in the new 2021-22 MN State Legislature.
Backstory: These reforms were first drafted by LPMN officers from 2015-2017. In 2018 the effort found bi-partisan bill authors, with State House Rep. Steve Elkins (D-Bloomington) and State Sen. Scott Jensen (R-Chaska). In 2019 all ‘third-parties’ rallied behind their press announcement and lobbied for hearings. In 2020 it was amended by Rep. Elkins to overcome an objection, allowing it to advance to a Senate committee hearing. However, after testimony and discussion Cmte. Chair Mary Kiffmeyer (R-Big Lake) indefinitely tabled the bill and withheld a vote to prevent it from advancing out of committee.
Hello Liberty Friends!
We have come farther than ever in our fight for fairness with the Ballot Access Inclusion Bill (BAIB). In the biennium session 2019-2020 the bill (SF 752a/HF708a2) finally got a hearing, but then suffered death by senate committee. In 2021 original bill author Representative Steve Elkins (D-49B) returned and reignited the effort in the House as HF1775. We were then fortunate to find a new bipartisan partner to author it in the Senate with Senator Mark Koran (R-32) who introduced it as SF2167. Thank them both!
Contact your Senator and Representative and ask them to support HF1775 – SF2167 and ask them to get this bill heard! Action has been referred to these committees, and these are the members sitting on them for the biennium session 2021-2022. They need to be contacted frequently, especially from their home territory constituents!
Senate Committee: State Government Finance and Policy and Elections
*Sen Mary Kiffmeyer (R-30) – Chair
*Sen Jeff Howe (R-13) – Vice Chair
*Sen Jim Carlson (D-51) – Ranking Minority Member
Sen Gregory Clausen (D-57) – Member
Sen Omar Fateh (D-62) – Member
Sen Mark Koran (R-32) – Member
Sen David Osmek (R-33) – Member
Sen Eric Pratt (R-55) – Member
House Committee: State Government Finance and Elections
*Rep Michael Nelson (D-40A) – Chair
*Rep Andrew Carlson (D-50B) – Vice Chair
*Rep Jim Nash (R-47A) – Republican Lead
Rep Kristin Bahner (D-34B) – Member
Rep Steve Drazkowski (R-21B) – Member
Rep Steve Elkins (D-49B) – Member
Rep Emma Greenman (D-63B) – Member
Rep Ginny Klevorn (D-44A) – Member
Rep Jon Koznik (R-58A) – Member
Rep Sandra Masin (D-51A) – Member
Rep Anne Neu Brindley (R-32B) – Member
Rep Gene Pelowski, Jr (D-28A) – Member
Rep Duane Quam (R-25A) – Member
Rep Rena Moran (D-65A) ex-officio
And if you want to know who your local rep’s are, you can use this link to find out:
Thank you for helping with this very important task! If these Senators and Representatives don’t hear from you, they have no reason to believe it is important. To be honest, there is nothing more important to all third parties, simply wanting a fair chance to participate on the ballot. Your voices matter to these elected officials – make sure they hear you! Constantly!!
If you would like a sample script to use, here is an example you can steal:
“Dear Representative (Senator), please get the ballot access inclusion bill HF1775-SF2167 into a committee hearing to there can be a vote! This bill will fix laws that prohibit people from running for office if they belong to a third party. It will make Minnesota elections more fair by making the ballot more accessible. It will give our process more integrity by creating more equity. It’s time we update these laws to be more in-line with surrounding states, versus unnecessary restrictions like the shortest ballot access petitioning window in the country. We are a clear outlier with some of our arbitrary outdated statutory barriers. You can change that. All Minnesotan’s voices deserve to be heard. I urge you to champion this discussion. Thank you.”