Washington, D.C. — Today, the Minnesota Senate passed groundbreaking pro-voter legislation that will strengthen free and fair elections. The state House passed a similar measure earlier this month, and it now heads to Gov. Tim Walz (D) for his signature. The Democracy for the People Act (SF3/HF3), championed by Rep. Emma Greenman (D) and Sen. Liz Boldon (D), includes a ban on political spending by foreign-influenced U.S. corporations, making Minnesota the first state in the nation to pass such legislation. The Center for American Progress has supported similar legislation for several years and provided testimony in support of the Minnesota legislation.
This legislation will close a dangerous loophole opened by the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and reduce foreign influence in Minnesota’s elections. It contains additional important measures to strengthen the freedom to vote and modernize the state’s campaign finance system, including establishing automatic voter registration, enabling voters to opt in to automatically receive a mail-in ballot for each election, preregistering 16- and 17-year-olds to vote upon turning 18, prohibiting intimidation and interference with the voting process, and increasing disclosure of secret political spending.
In response, Michael Sozan, senior fellow at CAP, issued the following statement:
Today, Minnesota took a giant step forward to strengthening free and fair elections, setting a strong example for the nation. At a time when many states are passing laws to suppress voters or subvert elections, Minnesota has become a national leader in protecting elections and empowering voters. The provision to stop political spending by foreign-influenced U.S. corporations will limit the ability of foreign entities to spend money in Minnesota’s elections and strengthen the ability of Minnesotans to chart their state’s future.
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