A Republican who continues to cast doubt on the results of the 2020 election, despite no evidence of fraud or wrongdoing more than a year later, would like to oversee Minnesota's elections.
Kim Crockett announced Thursday morning she is running for Secretary of State in 2022, news that had trickled out earlier after she made comments outlining her decisions while at a Minnesota Tea Party Patriots meeting on Dec. 2.
Crockett, an attorney, made election "integrity" the focal point of her initial pitch to voters, alleging people "across the political spectrum are questioning election results" and "asking a lot of questions about how we vote and how the vote is counted."
A poll published in September found that's not really the case.
Six in 10 Minnesota registered voters believe President Joe Biden legitimately won the 2020 presidential election. Only two demographics, Republicans and former President Trump voters, had more respondents believing otherwise.
Every other group — Democrats, Independents, each individual age bracket, Twin Cities voters, southern Minnesota voters, northern Minnesota voters, those with a college degree, those without one — had more respondents saying that Biden's win was legitimate compared to those believing it was not.
Crockett, meanwhile, promises to "restore confidence in Minnesota’s elections," saying she will enforce existing laws and "upgrade our approach to elections."
In a short video from the Dec. 2 meeting posted to YouTube, Crockett highlights that voting in the 2022 election will begin in September. (State law allows people to request an absentee ballot starting 46 days prior to Election Day.)
"Why?" she says in the video, "And how does that serve election integrity? How does that bolster our confidence in election results?"
In a separate video, a panel hosted by Alpha News, Crockett calls this early voting period "a really long time to cheat." She also suggested the use of ballot boxes in the Twin Cities is "ballot harvesting," and said the vote is being suppressed in greater Minnesota because "they don't have ballot boxes" but are often asked to use mail-in voting.
Crockett is an advisor to the Minnesota Voters Alliance, a group that has attempted to restrict certain voting options, such as same-day registration, and suggested ballot boxes may be an avenue for voting fraud. She also previously served as vice president and general counsel of the conservative-leaning Center of the American Experiment, but was suspended for 30 days during her stint after making racist remarks about Somali refugees in a New York Times story.
DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin, in a statement, said Crockett's views represent a "lack of respect for the rights of her fellow Minnesotans," arguing she "is running to restrict your freedom to vote by attacking common-sense things like early voting and vote by mail."
Crockett, in the YouTube video, says she plans to try to gin up support at the Republican Party of Minnesota State Central Committee Meeting on Dec. 11, then lay low for the holiday period as she prepares to campaign in 2022.
Current Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, a DFLer, has announced he is running for re-election.
Cutting measures such as early voting, absentee ballots and ballot drop boxes has been found to disproportionately impact certain blocks of voters, such as those with disabilities or communities of color, making them less likely to be able to cast a ballot.