FairVote MN Action Alert:Kiffmeyer's HAVA Plan
June 19, 2003
Dear Instant MN,
We need your help! There is a once-in-a-century opportunity before us. I’m referring to the millions of dollars coming to Minnesota to improve elections under the Help America Vote Act (“HAVA”).
In response to the troubled 2000 Presidential election, Congress passed HAVA, sending billions of dollars to the states over the next few years to replace outmoded voting machines, empower disabled persons to vote without assistance, make sure no one is turned away from the polls due to a flawed voter registration system, and allow each voter to cast an effective vote and correct the ballot in case of an error.
Each state can write a plan for how to use its share of the funds. After meeting the requirements of the new law, states have considerable flexibility on how to use the funds to improve elections. Congress intended these plans to be developed with broad public input to meet diverse needs.
Minnesota will have an easier time meeting HAVA’s requirements than most states. That should give us more flexibility to sponsor studies and demonstrations of alternative voting systems and make sure electronic voting equipment is secure and compatible with instant runoff voting.
I said “should.” Unfortunately, Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer’s plan does little more than recite HAVA’s requirements and fails to say how those requirements will be met. You can read her proposed plan at . After a public review and comment period running through July 8, the plan will be finalized and submitted to the federal government.
FairVote Minnesota has written a 7-page letter to Secretary Kiffmeyer detailing recommended changes to the plan. You can read it at http://www.FairVoteMN.org /articles/comment61703.html. I’ve been interviewed about our critique by the Star Tribune and WCCO Radio. Minnesota Public Radio reported our story as well. But it’s not enough; we need your help to influence the final plan.
Many of you responded to an earlier call to action. Thank you! This is a new appeal in response to a new opportunity to influence the outcome and we need you to respond, even if you already responded to the earlier appeal.
1. Write to Secretary Kiffmeyer, 180 State Office Building, Saint Paul MN 55155. Or send her an email: hava.mn@.... The message:
a. Require new electronic voting equipment to produce a record of each ballot for security and auditing purposes.
b. Require that new voting equipment have the flexibility to support ranked order voting methods such as instant runoff voting.
c. Make funds available for studies and demonstrations of alternative voting systems.
2. Send a letter to the editor with the same message.
3. Get your city council or county board to pass a resolution in favor of these recommendations.
Please send us a copy of your letter or email to Secretary Kiffmeyer and your letter to the editor when it is published. Let us know if you want assistance getting a resolution passed by your local government. This is a tremendous opportunity to move this effort forward. I hope I can count on your support.
Tony Solgård, President
PS Great news! The League of Women Voters of Minnesota voted to study instant runoff voting.
The Star Tribune strongly endorsed instant runoff voting.
The Hopkins City Council unanimously passed a resolution calling on the State of Minnesota to make sure new voting equipment is ranked-ballot compatible so that local governments can have the option to use an alternative voting method. Your city council or county board could do this too!
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