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I read with some annoyance and much head-scratching D.J. Tice's "Minnesota's case study in election imperfection" (Opinion Exchange) on Monday. It was hard to tell exactly what Tice was asserting.

Was he asserting that Kim Crockett is a worthy candidate for Minnesota secretary of state although she has denied the legitimacy of the election of President Joe Biden and dodges whether she'd certify elections should she win next month?

Or is Tice proclaiming that mail-in and absentee voting have substantial risks, even though Oregon, which conducts all of its voting via mail, sent out more than 100 million mail-in ballots between 2000 and 2020 and documented only about a dozen cases of proven fraud, or 0.00001% of all votes cast?

Or was his goal to create a straw issue of "imperfection" and "vulnerabilities" in our voting system, only to "balance" his argument by meekly admitting, "Most felt the [Al Franken-Norm Coleman] recount and trial had been fairly conducted." Actually, not only "most" but, more importantly, a bipartisan canvassing board, a three-judge panel of Minnesota jurists appointed by a Democrat, a Republican and independent Gov. Jesse Ventura, and our Minnesota Supreme Court, who all oversaw the recount and, each time, declared Franken the winner.

Yes, democracy is messy. But history confirms the Minnesota election system is pretty darn excellent, if not "perfect." Tice spewed fodder for the deniers, and for that, he must take responsibility when they emerge in November and point to his irresponsible column.

Jay Weiner, St. Paul

The writer is the author of "This Is Not Florida: How Al Franken Won The Minnesota Recount."


The analogy to 2016 fails

GOP secretary of state candidate Kim Crockett and her supporters, including recent contributors to "Readers Write," are trying out a new tactic in their disingenuous election denialism: pretend that doubts about election integrity come from "both sides" ("Crockett for secretary of state," Readers Write, Oct. 8). As a letter in Saturday's Star Tribune put it: "In 2016, many on one side denied the outcome. In 2020, many on the other side didn't believe the outcome."

Why is this disingenuous? Ask them to cite one mainstream Democratic politician or commentator who said votes were stolen or election results falsified in 2016. There were none. The only basis from which anyone questioned the legitimacy of Donald Trump's victory was the cold, hard fact that Hillary Clinton won the national popular vote by nearly 2.9 million votes, while Trump won the presidency through the Electoral College system. Republicans like the Electoral College because it has allowed them to win the presidency in three elections since 1992 even though they won the popular vote only once, and Democrats don't like it for the same reason, because it can upend the popular vote result.

To point that out is in no way the equivalent of questioning the popular vote count in Minnesota or any other state. In fact, it was Trump who also claimed that the 2016 popular vote was rigged, when he announced — as usual, without a shred of evidence — that 3 million people had voted illegally, just the number he would have needed to have won the popular vote. (Nobody was surprised because he also had claimed the vote was stolen when he lost the Iowa Republican caucuses to Ted Cruz. Hello, this is a long-established pattern, going back to his history of claiming the Emmy Awards were rigged whenever "The Apprentice" didn't win!)

The baseless sowing of doubt about election integrity is not bipartisan; it's solely done by the party that prefers that strategy to actually winning the majority of votes in a multiracial democracy.

Jason McGrath, Minneapolis


We've been viewing an unusual event this election season: an extraordinary amount of money is being spent on TV and digital ads for the secretary of state race. In fact, I don't recall ever seeing this before in Minnesota.

My take? The office appears to have been in the hands of Democrats for the last 15 years, and they've never really had a formidable challenger such as Kim Crockett. She's a smart and savvy attorney who's been keeping her eye on incumbent Steve Simon for years.

Her ideas about returning confidence to elections, using photo identifications to vote, and reducing the 46-day early-voting period, have labeled Crockett as dangerous, a threat to democracy and extreme. She seems normal to me, but I do understand why the DFL might be afraid of this commonsensical woman.

I'll be glad when election season — all 46 days of it — is over, and the nasty attack ads are gone, at least for another few years.

Julia Johnson, Minnetrista


Why are candidates who do not agree to abide by the results of an election even allowed on the ballot?

The definition of democracy is "a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives." It appears to be common sense that if someone will not agree to the rules of the game they are participating in, they shouldn't get to play. Would baseball, football, hockey, etc., players be allowed to play if they wouldn't agree to the umpires' and referees' calls?

Kathy Scoggin, Stillwater


Give him what he fairly deserves

We finally got the headline the right has been salivating over: "Hunter Biden case warrants charges, federal agents say" (Oct. 7). As a very liberal democrat who voted for Joe Biden, here's my reaction: Throw the book at him. Because I believe in this country and its laws (and order). I believe when you are proven to have violated those laws, you should be charged with a crime and sent to jail if convicted. And I refuse to shed those values simply to march in lockstep with a political ideology, or pretend that my team is infallible.

And you know what else? If "Hillary's emails" ever proved to be anything criminal, I'd say the same darn thing. Because having principles means upholding them even when it's unpleasant, or difficult, or when you have to admit you misjudged someone's character. (Psst! If you only talk about values when it's convenient, those aren't your real values.)

Conservatives, I throw down the gauntlet and ask where your principles lie. Do you dare make more of a peep than the crickets we've heard for nearly six years?

Travis Anderson, Minneapolis


PSA: Twitter rots your brain

It was a very interesting experience reading the article about Public Safety Commissioner Cedric Alexander's Twitter indiscretions ("Those tweets? He's now regretful," front page, Oct. 8) through the framework of Michelle Goldberg's "Here's hoping Elon Musk destroys Twitter" (Opinion, StarTribune.com, Oct. 7).

The standout line from Goldberg's commentary for me was, "For A-list entertainers, the Washington Post reports, Twitter 'is viewed as a high-risk, low-reward platform.'"

Perhaps public officials would do well to bear this in mind before attempting to use the platform to engage with constituents. There is wisdom in knowing when to walk away.

Rich Furman, St. Paul


Although I still think Alexander was an excellent choice to serve as Minneapolis public safety commissioner, I was disappointed to learn that he became involved in a tweeting contest. As anyone in his position should know, tweeting with idiots is like wrestling with pigs. It never ends well.

Jeffrey Loesch, Minneapolis


I hope that Commissioner Alexander can be as tough and aggressive with the cops under his direction and the police union as he has been with the citizens he engaged with on Twitter.

Mike Moser, Minneapolis