My Number Nine Wish for the 2006 Elections
This post is part of a series listing my ten wishes for the upcoming election. Each day I will post one wish starting with number 10 and working my way up to the wish I desire most. Because we should think globally and act locally, you’ll notice a Minnesota slant to my wishes. If you’re a progressive or a liberal or a left-wing nut job from another state, I hope your wishes come true too. And now, without further delay, here’s today’s wish…
9. Mark Ritchie defeats Mary Kiffmeyer, Minnesota Secretary of State
In the 2000 Presidential election, Katherine Harris, in her role as Secretary of State, did her level best to make sure that George Bush carried the state of Florida. In the 2004 Presidential election, J. Kenneth Blackwell did his level best to make sure that George Bush carried the state of Ohio.
Minnesota has its own addition to the ignoble tradition of Republican Secretaries of State undermining the integrity of the once-sacred right to vote.
Her name is Mary Kiffmeyer.
Kiffmeyer asked the Department of Justice to investigate voter registration forms in Hennepin (county seat is Minneapolis) and Ramsey (county seat is St. Paul) counties. The popular metro area counties tend to skew Democrat - and that's putting it mildly. The Department of Justice said the forms were fine. Later, she wiped a bunch of Independence party candidates off the ballot only to be overturned by the Minnesota Supreme Court. Then, as her piece de resistance, she sent anti-terrorism posters to every polling place in Minnesota for the 2004 election. The posters warned voters to watch out for men wearing perfume and muttering to themselves. Many thought her goal was to decrease voter turnout.
When election season began, half the state tossed their hat in to replace this incompetent (and insane?) woman. Ritchie, the Democratic party nominee, has distinguished himself in “get out the vote" efforts. In a perfect world, Bruce Kennedy, the independent candidate, would win and would succeed in his effort to promote instant runoff voting. But, ever the fan of political realism, I ackowledge that this is a two person race. Given that reality, I hope Ritchie wins and wins big.