Defense of Democracy

LWVMN Statement in Defense of Democracy:

Letters sent to the Minnesota Legislature by LWV Minnesota and to WBL-Area Legislators by LWV White Bear Lake Area

Dear members and supporters, 

Today, the LWVMN State Board met and approved this letter to be sent to the Minnesota House of Representatives and Senate leadership in both parties. We are especially concerned about the growing evidence of possible violence being directed at elected and government officials prior to inauguration, and about the ongoing use of the baseless claims of voter fraud as a reason for this insurrection behavior. We are specifically calling on our Legislative Leaders to: 

  • Require that all Minnesota State Representatives and Senators tell the truth about the settled 2020 elections as a duty to fulfill their oath to the United States and Minnesota constitutions;
  • Require certain legislators who have incited lies and violence to issue a public message immediately disavowing the falsehoods about a “stolen election,” apologizing for the use of those lies for political purposes, and accepting of the 2020 election validity and integrity, and a clear message that harassment and calls for violence toward our public officials will not be tolerated; and 
  • Seek consequences and accountability of those legislators who have continued to violate their oath of office by spreading lies about the election through formal censure, the revocation of committee assignments, and even expulsion if needed, should their behavior of spreading lies and misinformation continue. 

Our letter fully documents and cites the evidence behind our concerns and requests, and provides you as local League leaders and members with solid facts you can continue to amplify and use within your local communities. 

I want to provide you with a few additional FAQs and talking points: 

  • Why is this letter so long? We have delivered a literal and metaphorical response to the baseless claims of voter fraud and the violence these claims are inciting. Our letter cites our claims with evidence and facts, contrary to the statements we’re hearing from several elected officials who still deny the legitimacy of this election. From them, we have hearsay and rumors and no direct evidence or facts. Let this letter be both useful in its content, but also in its example of what information should be provided when serious accusations are made. 
  • Has LWVUS approved this action? Yes, we have worked with them and built off their bold action to call for impeachment of Donald Trump, based largely on his actions which incited the assault on our nation’s Capitol on January 6. We stand with one voice on the need to call for truth and accountability around our elections. And we also need to bring that voice to bear to our local state government as well, where needed. 
  • What is the basis for singling out particular legislators in this letter? We strongly value transparency, so have shared the names of those legislators who have engaged in actions which promote the false claims of voter fraud. Our hope is those legislators will first and foremost publicly acknowledge their confidence in the results of the 2020 election so that those using this false information will stand down from their violent behavior. 
  • Should LWVMN be making demands of our legislators? Please read the history of the 19th Amendment passage here in Minnesota. Their efforts included continually making known those who did and did not support suffrage so that we could push the agenda of an inclusive democracy forward. Such as we do today, we are making known those legislators who are asking for our certified-election results to be doubted or overthrown, and asking that they change their public opinion and support our strong system of elections here in Minnesota. 
  • Is this a partisan act? Being nonpartisan means we don’t support any specific party or candidate. Equally, it means that we don’t abandon our well-studied positions based on a legislator’s party. We will continue to work with all legislators, regardless of party, to advance free and fair elections. And we will continue to hold accountable all legislators, regardless of party, who undermine democracy. 

I am personally happy to talk to anyone with questions or concerns. Thank you so much for standing with us to fulfill our timeless mission to empower voters and defend democracy. 

MICHELLE WITTE

Executive Director, LWVWBLA

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