The Minnesota Voters Alliance (MVA) is grateful for the willingness of the Star Tribune Editorial Board to publish our commentaries from time to time. Nevertheless, we must object to the characterization of the MVA in the Nov. 21 editorial, "Seek balance on polling place speech."
The editorial includes a gratuitous portrayal of the MVA as "claiming to combat alleged voter fraud" while employing tactics to suppress "certain voter turnout," urging election judges "to break the law," and falsely "proclaiming" that Minnesota led the nation in voter fraud. All of these charges were presented, to use the editorial's term, "without evidence."
Of course, the piece had no space available for backing up these aspersions, which is why it was inappropriate to include them within the middle of an analysis of our free speech case now before the U.S. Supreme Court.
If there had been room for providing the reader with evidence, the editorial would have had to deal with the basic insurmountable facts, a few of which are:
Voter fraud exists in Minnesota and the board is well aware of the 369 voting convictions between 2008 and 2014, which we have previously documented for them, along with our heavily documented discovery of 1,670 provable instances of voting by ineligible felons in the four general elections between 2008 and 2014.
Concern within the electorate over the credibility and validity of local and statewide elections is what suppresses voter participation. The Secretary of State, with the Star Tribune in support, by blocking our efforts aimed at bringing statutory transparency to the amount of voting by ineligible persons, is the real obstacle to free and honest elections.
The charge that we urged election judges to break the law is especially egregious and fallacious. The MVA supported election judges who concluded that their statutory duty to uphold the law was being undermined by the secretary's procedures on election day.
Finally, it should be noted that the MVA is unmatched in its success at holding Minnesota government agencies to the rule of law on election-related issues. Our legal victories include challenging illegal constitutional ballot titles and ballot questions, reversing unlawful implementation of on-line voter registration, and exposing government failure to comply with campaign disclosure requirements when using taxpayer funds to campaign for bond referendums.
Andrew Cilek is executive director of the Minnesota Voters Alliance.