To a fair amount of attention, a well-conceived bill to require photo IDs for voting was introduced in the Minnesota Legislature this session. This would be an important and long-overdue election reform, but one that has been stymied by DFL leadership, more so than by rank-and-file DFL lawmakers; 10 DFL House members voted for it in the last legislative session.
There's one thing that the 2010 election and the recent recount in the governor's race made clear: It's time to stop arguing about whether we should institute photo ID for voting and time to start discussing how best to implement it.
There is no question that the new DNR commissioner should not be learning about mining on the job. He or she needs to understand that the economic impact domestically, and the environmental impact globally, of mining critical nonferrous metals in Minnesota would be very positive.
The beginning of a new administration presents an opportunity for re-evaluation and change in many policy areas. Because natural resources are such an important topic to so many Minnesotans, we believe this is a good time to review the state’s natural resource management objectives and practices and to make recommendations for reform and improvement.
When the topic of election integrity arises, people often think about voter fraud and ways to prevent it, and rightly so. Yet election integrity is about more than just abuse of the election system; it is also about being able to prove the accuracy of the system.
In a recent commentary, Betsy Daub of Friends of the Boundary Waters suggested that the movie "Avatar" was being played out in the narrative of new mining operations proposed for northeastern Minnesota. But Daub had in mind the wrong part of the narrative from that movie.
President Obama recently signed a law mandating that states give military voters a window of at least 45 days before an election in which to submit absentee ballots. It looks as if this measure will force the Minnesota Legislature finally to move the state primary to an earlier date.
The recount that followed the 2008 U.S. Senate election in Minnesota brought to light several weaknesses in the state’s election systems. Many observers have suggested that improvements are needed, but few have proposed anything more than small refinements. Based on observations and experiences of many experts from not only Minnesota but also from across the nation, we believe that some significant changes are needed.