MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The countdown to the March 3 presidential primary is 33 days away.
Unlike the general election, anyone casting a choice for president must identify their party. Minnesota is top in the nation for voter turnout. But the new law forcing voters to declare parties is making some nervous.
GOP Representative Peggy Scott (R-Andover) says she’s concerned about where that information might end up.
She thinks the legislature must act immediately to stop any collection of ballot choice information.
“People in the public have a concern about their party preference becoming recorded and going out there,” Scott said Wednesday.
Both parties supported the voter data requirements when the law passed. Pushback from the public caused Democrats to change their minds.
As it stands now, who you vote for in a primary will stay private. However – how you vote – Republican or Democrat – and and other personal information will be collected by the state, compiled in data form, and given to the political parties.
GOP party chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan told WCCO on Sunday that a law isn’t necessary and could suppress turnout.
“It really is a preemptive move to try to hinder our abilities to deliver the state’s electoral votes to President Trump on Nov. 3,” she said.
“While Representative Scott and I share the goal of ensuring party affiliation data remains private, the solution she has proposed would place both the Minnesota DFL and Republican Party in violation of the rules of our national parties,” said Minnesota DFL Chairman Ken Martin in a statement. “The DNC and RNC require information on who participated in their respective primaries in order to certify that no widespread partisan interference occurred.”