State leaders issue statement reminding Minnesotans of right to vote safely, securely

KSTP photographer Jim O'Connell took this photo outside a voting center in Eagan. Photo: KSTP/ Jim O'Connell. KSTP photographer Jim O'Connell took this photo outside a voting center in Eagan.

Rebecca Omastiak
Updated: October 29, 2020 04:23 PM
Created: October 29, 2020 04:02 PM

As Election Day draws nearer, Gov. Tim Walz, Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon issued a statement Thursday that voter intimidation and interference will not be tolerated and that all Minnesotans have the right to vote safely and securely.

"Voting safely and securely without fear of intimidation is the foundation of our democracy," Walz said in the statement. “We have always respected our neighbors on election day here in Minnesota, and this year will be no different. Minnesotans have a right to expect privacy and civility at the polls. I will work closely with state and local officials to respond quickly to any illegal actions that threaten these essential democratic rights."

Additionally, Ellison stated, "Minnesota has a history of running the best, highest-turnout elections in America. Minnesotans have every reason to expect that the November 3 elections in our state will run as safely, smoothly, and securely as always. Minnesotans can also expect that they will be able to vote without intimidation or interference. Minnesota and federal law are clear: it is strictly illegal to intimidate or interfere with voters. No one may intimidate or interfere with you inside or outside a polling place. That means no one, from the President of the United States, to military, law enforcement, and agents of the government on down. As Attorney General, I do not expect to have to enforce these laws. But I will not hesitate to enforce them to the fullest extent if necessary to protect Minnesotans’ fundamental right to vote without intimidation. This election belongs to Minnesotans and Minnesotans alone. You and only you will decide the outcome."

Simon added, "The right to vote is a right to be exercised with confidence, and without fear. Minnesota law guarantees voters the right to a peaceful polling place, free of harassment or intrusion, and I am always working to fulfill that promise. I know that election officials across the state—and the 30,000 Minnesotans working at the polls—are ready to deliver a positive Election Day experience for all."


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