(credit: CBS)

Welcome to WCCO.com’s 2018 political guide!

We reached out to all Minnesota candidates running for U.S Senate, Governor, U.S Congress, Attorney General, Secretary of State and State Auditor this fall. Candidates were asked to provide a two-minute video discussing their platform as well as answer a set of our viewer’s questions.

Above is the video and below are the answers John Howe provided. This is not a paid advertisement nor does WCCO endorse any candidate.

Responses from John Howe, Republican candidate for Secretary of State:

Do you believe there is voter fraud in Minnesota?

There’s no doubt that voter fraud exists in Minnesota, but we can’t determine the level of fraud while the current Secretary of State continues to withhold data on challenged voters. By defying a court’s order to release that data, he is blocking the public and the media from learning the true level of voter fraud.

Do you agree with President Trump that “millions of illegal immigrants” voted in the 2016 presidential election, including Minnesota?

I can only speak for Minnesota’s voting, and again, we have no way of knowing the level of ineligible voting while the Secretary of State continues to withhold information that the courts have decided should be public.

Should Minnesota voters be required to show identification before they cast a ballot?

If they are on the “challenged” list from a previous election, then they either need to be present valid, current identification, or they should cast a “provisional” ballot, which is a process used in 47 other states and allows their ballot to be counted after proof of eligibility is provided.

Should Minnesota consider online or by-mail voting options?

Both of these options are worth exploring, although it should be noted that both of them – online voting in particular – increase our system’s exposure to hacking and other malicious activity.

Should ranked choice voting be instituted for statewide elections?

Ranked choice voting is inherently undemocratic, in that it gives unequal “weight” to different voters’ votes. In our current system, you know that your vote counts, whether your favored candidate wins or loses. Under ranked choice voting, if your vote isn’t for one of the top vote-getters, your vote is simply discarded and you are disenfranchised.

What is the most important challenge facing Minnesota’s voting system in the next 10 years?

As we face a world in which more and more “bad actors” have access to technology, it will be more important than ever that we maintain election systems free from outside interference.

  1. Max Hailperin says:

    (1) The Secretary of State has appealed the district court’s order to the Court of Appeals. Until the appeal is decided, the order has been “stayed,” i.e., the court has said it is not currently in force. This is all standard legal practice. Howe is incorrect to describe the Secretary as “defying” the order. (2) Likewise, the fact that the Court of Appeals has not yet weighed in means Howe is incorrect to in his next response switch from “a court” (singular) to “the courts” (plural). (3) Howe’s description of Ranked Choice Voting is baffling. I can’t imagine anyone familiar with the system, whether they liked it or not, describing it this way. (4) I’m heartened to hear that Howe agrees with the current Secretary that cyber-security is the top priority. From his prior comments, that wasn’t so clear.