Improvements to Democracy Must Be Free of Backroom Politics

Common Cause Minnesota calls for transparency from MN legislature in making sure elections are more accessible

PAUL, MN — With less than two weeks left before the end of Minnesota’s legislative session and multiple election-related policy debates still unresolved, Common Cause Minnesota today called on legislative leaders to prioritize transparency and pro-voter policies as the session wraps up.

Advocates have been scrambling over the last few days to figure out what exactly is happening with the elections omnibus bill in conference committee. As of 1:30 p.m. yesterday, testimony on the state and local government omnibus bill’s elections article was due by 2 p.m. Friday — despite there being no publicly available information about what are the proposed elections policy adoptions the conference committee is considering. This left several advocates questioning how they can provide testimony or determine if they need to testify on provisions that have not been made available to the public.

Statement of Annastacia Belladonna-Carrera, executive director of Common Cause Minnesota

“For years, Minnesotans of all backgrounds and parties have called for fair, sensible election reform that will make voting more accessible. While Common Cause Minnesota supports the overall State and Local Government Omnibus bill, there are several proposed provisions impacting the Court drawn district maps to Senate Districts 12, and 9, and the task force on ranked choice voting we have concerns with. The obscurity behind what’s in the final elections proposed adoptions is an obstacle for the public.

The lack of transparency is troubling. This instance is just the newest example for the need to have the legislature keep constituents’ rights for transparency ahead of the need to end the session early.

Let’s be clear: These actions perpetuate a system that routinely and unjustly removes the influence of Minnesota voters and democracy advocates.

We must do everything we can to prevent true democracy reform from being diluted. That includes calling on Minnesota legislators to be more public facing and put an end to backroom politics and actions.”