The Republican candidate for Minnesota secretary of state Kim Crockett wouldn’t say Sunday whether she would accept the results of the 2022 election and that too often incumbent DFL Secretary of State Steve Simon has been willing to trade making voting convenient for ensuring that results are accurate.
Crockett’s remarks came during a debate with Simon on WCCO Radio. Simon said Minnesota’s elections are fair and people have so much confidence in them that the state routinely leads the nation in voter turnout.
"I think that's kind of an odd question,” Crockett said when asked by moderator Blois Olson if she would accept the results of the election. “We aren't there yet. We're weeks out. And we'll just have to see what happens between now and the certification of the election."
Simon underscored his confidence in the way votes are counted.
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"We've got a great team system in Minnesota. Our office, the office of secretary of state has a role to play,” Simon said. “But so too do local governments. We are teammates. We have to have each other's backs and I'm in constant touch with our partners, our teammates at the county and city level to make sure that come what may, we are prepared just as we were in 2020.”
The two also disagreed on whether Minnesotans should be required to show photo ID in order to vote.
Crockett, an attorney who has repeatedly made claims of widespread voting irregularities, said requiring voter ID is a common sense measure.
"You need some form of photo ID to function on a daily basis in our modern society, whether it's getting a prescription or doing banking or travel, and so I think Minnesota is capable," she said.
Simon said a voter ID law in Minnesota is unnecessary and would disenfranchise eligible voters.
"In Minnesota, we have a microscopic level of misconduct and wrongdoing around elections. That's provably so,” he said. And we have to be real careful about adopting a system that might intentionally or unintentionally shut out tens, maybe hundreds of thousands of eligible people.
Minnesotans rejected a constitutional amendment 10 years ago which would have required voter ID.
Simon is seeking a third four-year term as secretary of state. Crockett has never held elected office.
When asked about a video where she called herself the “denier-in-chief” of the 2020 election, Crockett said she was taken out of context, and she was joking about how the media had characterized her. Still, she said many Minnesotans do have legitimate concerns about election integrity.
“They don't feel listened to. And all they're asking for are common sense changes,” Crockett said. “They get accused of being election deniers and frankly, other terrible things. And all they're doing is saying, let's have better election laws so we feel confident, like photo ID, provisional ballots, and other safeguards.”
In response to a question about how he can build Minnesotans confidence in elections, Simon said it’s important that candidates present the public with accurate information.
“Combating this narrative of disinformation is a tough thing. It's the number one challenge to our democracy, in my view, this knowingly false information about the election being rigged, as my opponent said, and lawless as she said,” Simon said. “She said that she doesn't know for sure whether Joe Biden won Minnesota. So, he won by about 220,000 votes. So, the serious idea that 220,000 Minnesotans committed some sort of fraud is alarming and disqualifying for this office.”