The resolution below was submitted to the
MN AFL-CIO Executive Board and passed to become part of the MN AFL-CIO 2021 Legislative Agenda. 

 

Whereas,

 

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to have a dramatic impact on working Minnesotans, our health, well-being, and economic security;

 

Democracy is a core principle of the labor movement;

 

Due to actions taken by, and recommendations from, the federal and state governments—together with the prediction by Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, that there will likely be a second coronavirus outbreak in the fall—social distancing and other precautions will likely have detrimental impacts on our August 11 state primary and November 3 general election;

 

Such actions will affect how Minnesotans register to vote, vote early by mail and in-person, and how we vote in-person on Election Day;

 

Minnesotans value voting and have the highest voter turnout in the nation;

 

Minnesotans must not be forced to choose between exercising our right to vote and putting ourselves, our families, and communities at risk;

 

Over the past month, a number of presidential primary contests were held in other states that did not meet the standards we expect in our elections, and further, many other elections have been postponed;

 

That in many cases the Election Judges are from the most vulnerable groups in our society, especially seniors;

 

 

Now, therefore, be it resolved:

 

The Minnesota AFL-CIO calls upon the Minnesota State Legislature to take action now to ensure free and fair elections take place in Minnesota this year; and,

 

Be it further resolved that the Minnesota AFL-CIO supports provisions included in that law that provide:

  • every registered voter in Minnesota should be mailed an absentee ballot, including pre-paid postage for return; and,

  • A voter registration form, together with an application for an absentee ballot, should be sent to every unregistered Minnesotan who is eligible, including pre-paid postage for return; and,

  • Ballots that are postmarked by Election Day should be accepted and counted in the  election counts for each election; and,

  • Individuals and community organizations should be allowed to assist voters to complete their ballots, and to collect and deliver sealed ballots to the appropriate polling place; and,

  • Individuals on Minnesota’s eleven reservations should be allowed to serve as witnesses for absentee ballots, even if the individuals lack a street address; and,

  • A true early vote system should be implemented so that voters may cast their ballot in-person for the forty-six days prior to Election Day, removing the additional step of filling out an absentee ballot application; and,

  • Counties and cities that run elections need assistance so that they may have more early- and Election Day polling locations in order that the number of people waiting in line to vote in-person will be reduced; and,

  • Extend the May 1 deadline for major political parties to submit the names of those who will serve as election judges, providing time to recruit additional people to operate our elections; and,

  • Municipalities and counties need assistance to place ballot drop-boxes outside of local government buildings; and,

  • All polling locations for in person voting  must be sanitized to protect voters and election judges;

 

 Be it further resolved that the Minnesota AFL-CIO, its affiliated unions and their membership, support and will proactively advocate for legislation that accomplishes all of the above.

2019 BY THE MINNESOTA RETIREE COUNCIL, AFL-CIO   

651-227-7647

1-800-652-9004

175 Aurora Ave, St Paul, MN 55103

retirees@mnaflcio.org

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