Rhonda Silence

Minnesota’s Secretary of State talks with WTIP ahead of Election Day

Voting with a mail-in ballot is nothing new for many Cook County residents. However, this year Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon is encouraging voting by mail, including for Grand Marais residents or people who traditionally go to the polls on election by using an absentee ballot this election season.

Election Day is just 26 days away. On Nov. 3, it’s likely that many people across Minnesota will be avoiding polling places in favor of voting from home due to the coronavirus pandemic, Simon told WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs during a discussion about the upcoming election.

In more election news, during last week’s presidential debate, President Donald Trump told supporters to “go into the polls and watch very carefully,” which has raised concern about voter intimidation in Minnesota and beyond. Simon told WTIP that in Minnesota there are ‘polling place watchers’ who can be at the polls on the Election Day. However, they must be appointed in advance by a major political party and each party gets only one representative in this capacity. It must also be certified in writing who this representative is from any given party. Furthermore, anyone serving in this capacity must have personal knowledge that a voter who is attempting to vote is not eligible.

“It can’t be based on suspicion,” Simon told WTIP, “it has to be personal knowledge.”

The audio below is Simon’s full interview with WTIP in the lead up to the 2020 election.