Extended Interview: Sen. Rest talks Super Tuesday Voter Privacy
Minnesota voters will get to vote on Super Tuesday next March. Senator Ann Rest (DFL New Hope) is working to iron out one hiccup that would protect voter privacy in the primary election.
“People want their privacy, yes, but they still want to participate in the political process,” explains Rest. “I think we’ve found a way to accomplish that.”
The 2016 law change moves Minnesota from a caucus system to primary voting.
“In 2008 and 2012, our precinct caucuses were just chaos and everybody knew it was chaos,” says Rest. “We took that to heart.”
One concern from the change is that for the first time voters’ party preference would become public information. Rest and others are working on a bill that would allow that information to be accessible to national political parties and not the public as a whole.
“The information about which ballot you take will only be given to that party and not to anyone else,” says Rest. “If you choose a DFL ballot, that information would only go to the DFL party and not the Republican party or anybody else.”
Secretary of State Steve Simon also has spoken to the legislature about the need for voter’s party preference to be private and not public information. Rest is optimistic about the bill going through.
“We respect the privacy of the individual,” says Rest. Your neighbor won’t know. Your boss won’t know. Your husband or wife or partner won’t know. We have that bill coming forward.”