The Star Tribune article about Minnesota Republicans’ claims of “abnormalities” in the state’s presidential election results summarizes their arguments as, “[President Donald] Trump narrowly lost the state in 2016 without a coordinated group of activists and supporters in Minnesota. So why did he lose by nearly 7 points in 2020 after deploying scores of operatives and investing millions of dollars here?” (“Minnesota GOP’s claim of ‘abnormalities’ refuted,” front page, Nov. 21.) The answer is very simple: Trump did increase his vote total in the state by over 160,000 votes, but overall turnout skyrocketed, and Joe Biden got almost 350,000 more votes than Hillary Clinton did in 2016.
Lots of accounts of ordinary Republicans believing that the election must have been stolen boil down to, “I would never vote for Biden, and everybody I know supports Trump, so how could Biden have won?” Rest assured that if you’d walked around my neighborhood before the election, looking at yard signs and chatting with people, you’d have the impression that everybody supported Biden (except for the actual socialists, who don’t like him) and Trump wouldn’t get even a single vote. If Trump had won, would the evidence from my neighborhood prove that he must have stolen the election? No. The country is vast and diverse, and the little piece of it I see is not representative of the whole.
In staying silent while Trump blatantly tries to overthrow the will of the people as expressed through a popular election that Trump’s own cybersecurity chief called the “most secure” in U.S. history, Minnesota’s Republican officials are accessories to a treasonous attempt to subvert democracy itself.
Jason McGrath, Minneapolis
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“Abnormalities”? I’m insulted, state GOP Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan. I live in Wright County and served as an election judge. Your no-fact innuendos are inexcusable. Our precinct was one of three in Wright County selected to do a postelection review. I was one of four team members to recount every single vote at the Wright County courthouse on Nov. 18. We counted every single ballot twice. We also had to count votes for the presidential race, U.S. Senate and our congressional seat.
Wright County election officials were also in the room. After we completed our counts it was time to verify results. Wright County officials had printed the results submitted on election night and we checked our newly counted ballots to verify. The results were 100% accurate. No abnormalities. And that is a fact.
Mary Handt, Waverly, Minn.
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Some Republicans in the Minnesota Legislature seem to be questioning the legitimacy of Minnesota’s election results based on a specious theory that a lack of coordinated groups of activists cost Trump the state in 2016, so it’s suspicious that he lost by a wider margin in 2020. After all, much more Republican money and effort was spent to get out the vote in Minnesota this year.
This, my fellow Minnesotans, is what those legislators think of their constituents. Republican voters should be rushing to the polls after being inundated with untruths through television ads and social media, and after seeing Trump squawk at an airplane hangar a couple of times. How could they not be in for another four years of chaos, cruelty, ignorance and racism?
I saw a Facebook post recently that showed two photos — one of a Trump rally with a large crowd of MAGA-hat wearers jammed together and the other of a Biden gathering with people seated 6 feet apart, all masked. The caption wondered how anyone could believe Biden actually won the election without massive cheating. I saw in those photos a super-spreader event vs. a candidate caring about the lives of his constituents. Further down in my feed was a photo of a massive protest, the streets jammed as far as the eyes could see. It was labeled as the recent Million MAGA March. In reality, it was a photo from the 2017 Women’s March.
I contend that Biden’s margin of victory over Trump in Minnesota was due to a thoughtful constituency who educated themselves on the issues, questioned specious reporting and watched in horror for four years as Trump systematically undermined our Constitution. Then they voted accordingly. It might serve these Republican legislators to take note.
Mary Alice Divine, White Bear Lake
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There is such an outcry about the court challenges to the election, and I’m not sure why. Just remember, about one year ago, articles of impeachment were drawn up against Trump. This consumed months of the public’s attention until the articles were proven unsupportable in the U.S. Senate.
Was it legal to have tried to do this? Yes, though there were many who disagreed. Now, we have a challenge against the election process, and there are many up in arms that it has been made. Is it legal? Yes. We have to trust our government processes again to prove or disprove the accusations. Is it possible to wait this out? Yes, though many are in histrionics that it is actually going on.
I urge those on all sides to simmer down and trust that the U.S. Constitution, which has held our country together for close to 250 years, will still prevail. If the evidence presented is provable, then the charges will prevail. If they are not provable, then the charges will fail. Just as the impeachment trial did not have provable evidence to support the articles and therefore failed, we need to allow the court process to prove or disprove what is presented. Can we trust the constitutional process or not?
John George, Northfield, Minn.
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Saturday’s front-page story called out one of the most disturbing aspects of this election cycle: Republicans’ broad abdication of responsibility to respect and recognize the clear election outcome (“Trump’s baseless claims force GOP choice — party or country”).
To the Republican members of our congressional delegation: Where are you? If you are wavering whether to pursue duty or party, please step aside. Minnesota needs to know if you believe, despite overwhelming evidence otherwise, that your election this cycle is of unclear integrity, so please speak up. Every day you replace leadership with this silent wringing of hands is a day of abdication of the very responsibility you have worked so hard to accept on Minnesota’s behalf. Your constituents and our election process deserve better.
Jon Commers, St. Paul
We need more of these splits
Congratulations to state Sens. Tom Bakk and David Tomassoni (“2 Iron Range senators quit DFL,” front page, Nov. 19). We need far more independent voices to check the power of the GOP and DFL. I would love to see a few more independent-minded senators join this independent caucus. If three or four Republicans and a couple more Democrats joined, they could serve as a lever to ensure that constructive debate is held between the sides as neither one would have enough votes to pass a bill without catering to the independents.
Dan Tveite, Elk River, Minn.
Hats off to a job well done
Over the last eight to 10 years I have had occasion to be in a group that met twice a year with U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson. Never once did he reference his being “irreplaceable”! (“Just maybe there were reasons, other than tribalism, for change?” Readers Write, Nov. 22.) He has been the leader in passing major farm bills and also interim aid to farmers in severely challenging financial times. He is very aware how valuable a healthy farm economy is to rural communities! According to the Minnesota Farm Bureau, in 20% of Minnesota school districts, 75% of the tax base is agricultural property, and in 30% of the school districts, the tax base is 50% agricultural property!
By not re-electing Peterson, all farmers gave up the chair of the House Agricultural Committee. Every farmer should have been in the Seventh District campaigning for Peterson, regardless of party affiliation, because he always put farmers first. A job well done, Collin! You will be missed!
Brian Rohrenbach, Rosemount
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