Monday, August 8, 2022

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The annual Kids Count report highlights the well-being of America's children, Pennsylvania groups call for reproductive rights, and Minnesota's electric vehicle infrastructure is on verge of a growth spurt.

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Democrats seal the deal on the Inflation Reduction Act after a weekend session, New York City's Mayor condemns the Texas governor's immigrant busing initiative, and Elon Musk calls for a debate on Twitter bots.

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People in five rural Kentucky counties are fighting their way back after catastrophic flooding, efforts to preserve Oklahoma's historic buildings in small communities are running up against funding challenges, and more factory-built manufactured homes could help solve the nation's housing shortage.

MN Primary: Democracy Concerns Swirl Around Election Deniers

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Thursday, August 4, 2022   

Minnesota's primary vote is less than a week away, and a pro-democracy group reported it is one of several states with a number of "election deniers" on the ballot. States United Action contended the nationwide trend poses a threat to future elections.

The group's "Replacing the Refs" summary said as of midsummer, 60% of Secretary of State contests around the U.S. include an election denier, described as candidates who promote conspiracy theories and false information about voter fraud and rigged outcomes. More than a third are in governor and attorney general races.

Lizzie Ulmer, senior vice president of communications and strategic partnerships at States United, said the offices play a role in securing fair elections.

"I think it's really important for people to take away that a single election denier in a single state really has the potential to throw our elections into chaos and put our democracy at risk," Ulmer asserted.

Her group's report said there are five candidates for statewide office in Minnesota who have the "deniers" tag, including Republican Kim Crockett, who is running for Secretary of State. Crockett argued the concerns raised about her perspectives are designed to silence candidates who want to make it harder for a voter to commit fraud.

But Ulmer countered voters should not lose sight of what's being promoted by those who align themselves with misinformation about election policy and access. While such candidates often fall on the conservative side, she said it should not be viewed as a partisan issue.

"As Americans, we can all agree on free and fair elections, regardless of our party or our beliefs or the issues we care about most," Ulmer stressed. "This is really fundamental to our American democracy."

The report added the candidate trend coincides with recent policy action. As of May, legislatures in more than 30 states were considering 229 bills to politicize, pose criminal sanctions, or interfere with elections. Fifty such bills have been enacted or adopted since the beginning of 2021.

Support for this reporting was provided by The Carnegie Corporation of New York.


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