Brooklyn Park Special Election Offers First Opportunity To ‘Re-Enfranchise’ Voters
With voters in Brooklyn Park selecting their newest city council member this Tuesday, Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon visited polling sites in an attempt to meet re-enfranchised felon voters.
Brooklyn Park’s special election is the first in the state since the Minnesota Legislature restored voting rights for felons out of incarceration.
“I think it’s important once someone is out and living in society with the rest of us that they have a that sense of ownership,” said Simon. “That’s a good thing. It’s a good thing for our neighborhoods, it’s a good thing thing for families, and it’s good for everybody. Because we know that when people feel that sense of investment they’re far less likely to end up where they were.”
While the felon voter law has been challenged in court, Simon told CCX News he’s hopeful the matter will be settled before the 2024 presidential election.
“Absolutely nothing has changed, zero has changed, it’s full steam ahead,” Simon said. “We are very optimistic about the outcome of the lawsuit.”
Voters in Special Election Select Next Council Member
Simon visited polling places at Zanewood Community School and North View Middle School.
“It’s absolutely huge for a person to get their right to vote back who otherwise might not have it for years or decades from now had this law not passed,” Simon said. “It means they’ve got a sense of ownership, a sense of investment, some skin in the game.”
Candidates Daniel Goba and Tony McGarvey are competing for the Brooklyn Park City Council West District seat previously held by Susan Pha.
Pha joined the Minnesota Senate last year.
The winner will serve the balance of Pha’s term, which runs through Dec. 31, 2024.
“Local elections are really where there is the most impact on most people’s daily life,” Simon said. “When it comes to local office you’re talking about plowing, you’re talking about trash collection, you’re talking about everyday, quality of life issues.