The federal government under the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) gave out grant money to all states to improve their election security. Well, almost all--Minnesota is the only state which has not applied for and received their allocation of $6,595,610.00. Why? Could it be party politics and its posturing while ignoring what is best for the people who elected them? I would venture to say it is.
This is an example of why citizens are increasingly disillusioned with their elected politicians. This is an example of how to take a simple, straightforward and bipartisan issue and turn it upside down.
A little history: The Minnesota House of Representatives passed their bill HF14 in a bipartisan vote of 105-23. This bill calls for the full 6.6 million dollars available. Their bill was sent to the MN Senate. The GOP controlled Senate instead crafted their own bill SF241 which only calls for about 1.6 million dollars. There was even an amendment made to this bill to increase the number to the full 6.6 million figure. However, this amendment was defeated in a total partisan vote of 32-35, all GOP Senators voting no.
Next, the SF241 bill noting the 1.6 million dollar figure passed in a totally partisan vote of 35-32, all GOP Senators voting yes. The two bills are now sitting in committee waiting to be reconciled. Reconciled? I can think of no reason to leave 5 million dollars on the table, so why would the GOP Senators chose this path?
I, for one, am tired of this kind of posturing. Worth mentioning is my GOP State Senator from MN District 20, Senator Rich Draheim, who covers parts of Le Sueur, Scott and Rice counties voted his party line. And yes, I have written to Senator Draheim to express my disappointment in his vote on this issue.
I still wonder what will happen with the 5 million dollars left on the table and hope that politicians will pay more attention to what is important to their constituents and not their party.