Secretary of state candidate Kim Crockett says it "is not her job to find evidence to back her claims of a rigged election," according to a Sunday Star Tribune article ("'Rigged' election defines GOP hopeful," Sept. 25). Here are some facts Minnesota's voters should consider. A total of 5.9 million votes were cast in the 2018 and 2020 elections. According to state court records, from January 2019 to August 2022 there have been only 35 convictions of voter fraud statewide. That's 0.0005 % of votes cast — put another way, voter fraud convictions occurred here at a rate less than a person's chance of being struck by lightning.
One result of our nearly fraud-proof system is that our two parties are balanced. Both houses of the Legislature regularly go back and forth; our congressional delegation is evenly split; and since 1974 when same-day voter registration was approved, the 12 governor races have been won six times by DFL candidates, five times by GOP candidates and once by an independent.
Ken Peterson, St. Paul
The writer is a board member of Clean Elections Minnesota.
So Crockett doesn't think it's her job to find evidence for her election fraud claims. I'd say that anyone who makes any claim needs to be able to back it up. That's called integrity. And that's what is lacking here.
Mark Brandt, Minneapolis
Complexity only multiplies
D.J. Tice covers a broad range of topics when he comments on the overturn of Roe v. Wade ("An abortion debate, wanted or not," Sept. 25). There's politics; there's the "originalist" argument; there's even his personal feelings ("Count me among the conflicted," he says). But Tice seems to have omitted two words that are crucial to this complex discussion: "faith" and "viability." By overlooking the impact of these two factors, Tice risks missing the forest by focusing on the trees.
First, viability. In this conversation, the term applies to the science of fetal development. While great strides have been made in reproductive science, the reality is that certain "babies" have not developed to the point where they can survive outside the womb. Given this reality, there is a large portion of the population that resorts to pseudoscience to confer personhood on the developing baby. So, if a heartbeat is detectable at five weeks, for those people, that translates into a living being. Destroying that living being is, for them, murder. Additionally, many pro-life persons are oblivious to the fact that most reasonable pro-choice people aren't out to change their beliefs. Reasonable pro-choice people are not asking any women to become "pro-abortion." The message is: "You do what you want. Let me do what I want."
The good news is that as medical science advances, the date of viability is pushed back closer and closer to conception. Hopefully, eventually, the moral issues will give way to some system that allows women who carry an unwanted pregnancy to surrender that "baby" without "destroying" that "baby."
This leads to the implications of Tice omitting "faith" in this discussion. The problem with the Dobbs decision is that it legalized the pro-life argument that says, "My faith has sway over your lack of faith." Even if one can cite history to support the notion that the originalists believed that Christianity is the only true religion, we've come to understand that goes against the freedom of non-Christians. Clearly, this is the intersection of "viability" and "faith." In our contemporary, diverse society, the atavistic notions of the "originalists" is counterproductive.
It will be interesting to see how this all plays out.
Richard Masur, Minneapolis
Not a 'comprehensive plan' in sight
The Sept. 25 editorial gave so much praise to President Joe Biden regarding the U.S. southern border that I wondered if you read, listen to and see the same news I do ("Playing games with human lives").
The Star Tribune Editorial Board stated that he proposed a "comprehensive plan" to handle the tremendous number of immigrants who cross our border. And then he invited more, calling them a gift, insisting that America could take 2 million more "in a heartbeat." The result? According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the Border Patrol had about 1.6 million border encounters at our southern border in 2021. The recidivism rate was reported to be around 26%. At the end of that year, there were more than 15.5 million illegal immigrants in the U.S., according to some estimates. Sixty six of these caught this fiscal year were on the FBI's terror watch list. And some are bringing fentanyl and other illegal drugs. The Federation for American Immigration Reform found that illegal immigrants cost the U.S. $143.1 billion in 2021, an increase of $9.4 billion from the previous year.
But has Biden bothered to visit the border? Has Vice President Kamala Harris done anything to affect the numbers coming north? Has anyone really listened to our southern governors who have been begging for assistance and a stop to the huge numbers that they have to deal with? Has anyone sought to protect the residents along the border who have had to deal with thefts, break-ins and threats? That is why those governors are sending immigrants north, to call attention to their plight. But you claim they are "cynically using them to make a political point." It is not political at all; it is a way to show the government that the situation at the southern border is dire and that the federal government needs to step in. Bring in legal immigrants and help them with some of the money now spent on dealing with the illegal ones.
Kathy Brown Dodds, Lonsdale
In 1963 Bob Dylan released his memorable song "Blowin' in the Wind." The last line of the song was and remains haunting. "Yes, and how many deaths will it take 'til he knows that too many people have died?"
How many deaths caused by fentanyl coming in over our southern border will it take until we acknowledge as a country that too many people have died?
Opioids, including fentanyl, are involved in 80,000 deaths a year in the United States. Fentanyl is clearly and unarguably the most deadly drug to hit the United States ever. It is mostly smuggled into the United States along our border with Mexico.
Maybe this will help wake up our elected officials: A Boeing 737 carries up to 190 passengers. If a 737 carrying 190 passengers crashed every day for a year in the U.S. and all passengers on board were killed, it would be actually fewer than how many people are killed yearly in the U.S. by the ruthless drug fentanyl and others like it.
If a plane crashed every day in the U.S. killing 190 people day in, day out, do you think as a country we would do something about it? Or would we deny that we are having a problem, a fatal problem?
On Sept. 11, 2001, 2,996 people were tragically killed in the terrorist attacks on the United States. This changed the course of human history. Every 15 days, synthetic opioids like fentanyl kill as many people in the United States. The death toll is the same as a 9/11 terrorist attack 24 times a year against the United States.
This is not a political issue. It is a moral and ethical issue. It is an issue about the rule of law. I call upon Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith and all elected congressmen and congresswomen from Minnesota to stop the slaughter and carnage now. How many more deaths will it take?
David Arundel, Mound