On Dec. 14, the Electoral College met to affirm what was once a common occurrence: selecting the candidate who won the most popular votes nationwide to become president of the United States.
The identity of the winner for all other federal, state and local elections is determined by the candidate earning the greatest number of votes cast within the area of representation. In the past 20 years the Electoral College — as currently practiced — has twice deviated from this commonly accepted measure of success by awarding the most powerful elected office in the world to the second-place finisher.
Though the 2020 Electoral College appears to agree with voters, these prior divergent results have fostered an avoidable erosion of confidence for the integrity of presidential elections and lasting grievances toward our democratic institutions. That these injuries remain capable of repetition through the Electoral College represents an outcome that must be avoided.
Our nation should no longer breathe a sigh of relief nor hold its breath in frustration when the winner of the presidential national popular vote happens to coincide with the winner of the Electoral College. The scale of the presidency is national by nature, and the measure for determining its occupant requires an appropriately similar metric.
The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact (NPVIC), already passed by 15 states and the District of Columbia, provides that the Electoral College will be seated according to the winner of all votes cast nationwide. Once effective, the Electoral College and the popular vote will no longer arrive at different results.
To that end, as members of the Electoral College for the state of Minnesota, we call upon the Minnesota Legislature to pass the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact to assure that the presidential candidate receiving the most votes nationwide will not again be a spectator on Inauguration Day.
This letter was signed by electors Mark Liebow, Diana Tastad-Damer, Travis Thompson, Joel Heller, Nausheena Hussain and Muhammad Abdurrahman and by alternate electors Linda Wunderlich, Gregory Hansen, Benjamin Hackett, D'Andre Gordon, Zarina Baber, Alan Perish, Renita Fisher and Henry Fischer.
Utter condemnation? Not so fast
The condemnations of Minnesota's Republican representatives signing an amicus brief supporting the Texas lawsuit was expected. The letters appearing in the Dec. 15 Star Tribune collectively decried the Republicans as undemocratic and un-American and the Texas lawsuit as violating the American Constitution ("Make amends, congressmen"). Wow!
Here's a question for you letter writers: Have you read the Constitution? Do you have a copy at home? If you don't, I can lend you one of mine. After you read it, we can discuss whether the statements made in your letter reflect what is actually written in the Constitution.
When Donald Trump was elected president in 2016, the Democratic Party labeled him as an illegitimate president. The Democrats vowed publicly to form a "resistance" to fight everything he proposed. They also swore to seek his impeachment each and every day of his term in office. A cabal of high-ranking Justice Department officers, left over from the Obama presidency, undertook a coup to depose Trump. They used Russian disinformation paid for by the Hillary Clinton campaign to sucker the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court into approving investigations of Trump, his campaign and campaign operatives. They spent three years, millions of taxpayer dollars and precious days, weeks and months of the Trump administration's time while it defended against lies and false allegations. The cabal finally gave up after it was proven that their charges were false. After that, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her band of fools sought Trump's impeachment. That charge was based on the purported account of one secondhand whistleblower who was neither identified nor deposed under oath. That used up more precious time and didn't stop until the COVID-19 pandemic was underway.
The Texas lawsuit, despite having proper constitutional underpinnings, was denied, not on the facts, but on the basis that Texas had no standing to bring the suit. In the opinion of many court watchers, the Supreme Court justices just punted because they did not want to deal with such a hot potato. The Republican Party has filed numerous other lawsuits supported by hundreds of sworn affidavits. Unlike the "whistleblower" in the impeachment, these affidavits have been made by people willing to publicly swear to the truth under the penalty of perjury.
There was fraud in this election. There were illegal actions taken by various secretaries of state. There were strange and incomprehensible tabulation results in the vote counts. There was improper oversight of the vote tabulation. There was an overwhelming amount of mail-in ballots that could not possibly be validated by any means. It is time to move on, but this country needs to get serious about running elections without fraud. Until we do, no vote will ever go unchallenged.
Ronald Stolpman, Lakeville
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I was not surprised that the "Readers Write" page on Dec. 15 had all five letters critical of the Minnesota congressional delegation for their support of the Texas lawsuit. It is also not surprising that the Star Tribune editorial that same day would be critical as well ("Minn. GOP reps fail to defend vote"). So Reps. Tom Emmer, Pete Stauber and Jim Hagedorn and Rep.-elect Michelle Fischbach do not have a right to express themselves? They cannot join in the political discussion over possible election fraud because it doesn't fit the Star Tribune agenda? They cannot join their more than 100 colleagues with this effort? So much for free speech if it doesn't comport with this publication.
Yet at the same time, Minnesota DFL Chairman Ken Martin can call the Texas initiative a "thinly veiled coup." Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison can join 22 other attorneys general and claim the lawsuit was "baseless," and Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon can warn the congressional support was damaging, embarrassing and insulting. This hypocritical application that limits societal discussion is one reason why we will remain a divided nation. The inability for tolerance in the arena of political discourse will limit our ability to move forward in a productive manner.
For those who cried "shame," I suggest you look in a mirror.
Joe Polunc, Waconia
Thanks for the snickerdoodle!
We lost our mother on Dec. 12, 2015. She had 12 children — six boys and six girls. This year, we girls are remembering her by scanning and sending our favorite recipes from the Betty Crocker "Cooky Book" to do some holiday baking. We no longer have the original book we grew up baking from each year at Christmas, but I recently came across one in mint condition on the book sale shelf at the library and snatched it right up.
Among our favorite recipes is the snickerdoodle. I just read the name of the person who submitted the recipe, as well as the city and state of origin, googled the name and learned that the Anfinson family of Minnesota is credited with inventing the snickerdoodle. Please tell the Anfinsons of Minnesota that we are still fans of this yummy cookie and are grateful for the memories of making them and many other delicious holiday cookies with our mom as young girls. We are now sharing the recipe with our own adult daughters and their girls.
Happy and healthy holidays to all.
Jennie Lang Moore, Claymont, Del.
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