In a recent letter to the editor (“We need good voting laws,” April 22), the writer shared their experience with voting in the 2020 election.
There were several items in their letter I would like to address to help allay other folks' concerns with some of the issues they raised.
First, the writer noted that they received several unsolicited mail-in ballots; if the writer had looked carefully, they probably would have noticed that some of those were actually applications for mail-in ballots coming from a third-party organization. Additionally, you may have received a letter from the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State itself. The office sent out letters, including absentee ballot application forms, to everyone who hadn't already requested one. Finally, there are safeguards in place to prevent people from voting twice.
Second, if your voter registration is current and active, you do not need to bring identification to vote, according to the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State. This means you were successfully registered at least 21 days before Election Day and you have not moved or changed names since then.
With regards to proof of ID and mail-in voting, absentee ballots typically require a witness signature to be valid; however, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, that requirement was waived for registered voters in 2020. Voters who were not already registered needed a witness signature.
It is important to know that when you apply online for an absentee ballot in Minnesota, you must enter your driver's license or state ID number, or the last four digits of your Social Security number to release the ballot for mailing. After filling out the ballot, when you mail it back in, you have to provide the exact same number you used to get it.
It’s unfortunate that the writer refers to the recently passed Georgie voting law as a model for the rest of the country to follow. The New York Times found that the new law will limit ballot access, potentially confuse voters and give more power to Republican lawmakers.
Voting is a fundamental right. We should be working to make voting as accessible as possible.