It’s not just some “Red” states in the South and elsewhere that are targeting Blacks and other People of Color in their voter suppression efforts. It’s occurring here in Minnesota, too, as Republicans in the state legislature are attempting to construct barriers to their exercise of the franchise.
Although not as sweeping or perfidious as in some other places, the GOP majority in the state senate is opposing various efforts to facilitate voting by Blacks and others, along with the revival of one of the party’s favorite ploy: voter photo identification, which has the effect of restricting those of color as well as elderly and young voters. The photo ID measure defeated narrowly at the polls here nearly a decade ago, is at the top of the GOP wish list as the current legislative session draws to a close this month.
Fortunately for the electorate, the proposition ostensibly aimed at addressing non-existent voter fraud lodged in the GOP- controlled state senate will not make it through the DFL-dominated House of Representatives and certainly not past the veto pen of Governor Walz if it somehow makes it to his desk.
But the proposal is likely to provide ammunition to the “Stop the Steal” theme when the Republicans try to regurgitate that senseless slogan in the mid-term elections next year.
While the Republicans here are not trying to legislate against giving water to voters waiting in line to cast their ballots, as in some of the suppressive states, they are attempting to figuratively throw cold water on minority voters in an effort to dilute their votes.
Marshall Tanick is a Twin Cities constitutional attorney and historian