On Jan. 14, 2021, the Minnesota League of Women Voters board sent a letter to state legislative leaders of both parties reflecting the board’s position on the “ongoing use of the baseless claims of voter fraud as a reason for recent insurrection behavior.” A historic, nonpartisan organization that began in Minnesota in 1919, the League affirms a mission to support free and fair elections in all areas of Minnesota governance. The letter describes the history of the League of Women Voters and its mission to protect election integrity.

Of particular importance to the LWV Red Wing Board is the directive by the LWVMN board to call out legislators “to demand of all state legislators that while they have a right to free speech and dissent, they do not have a right to perpetuate lies that in turn incite distrust in our democracy and violence aimed at your fellow elected officials.”

At the directive of the Minnesota board, we, the LWVRW board, have chosen to release this letter locally and to call out local legislators to disavow “the dangerous rhetoric that has contributed to domestic violent extremism to disavow those falsehoods or be sanctioned.” Accordingly, we call upon our local state elected representatives, two of whom (Rep. Steve Drazkowski, District 21B, and Sen Goggin, District 21) joined a Texas attorney general lawsuit against the Minnesota Secretary of State to disavow themselves of inflammatory and dangerous rhetoric, and affirm their oaths to serve as Minnesota legislators.

We ask the following, as detailed in the letter:

  • Require that all Minnesota state representatives and senators, including Rep Drazkowski and Sen Goggin, tell the truth about the settled 2020 elections as a duty to fulfill their oath to the United States and Minnesota constitutions;

  • Require certain legislators who have incited lies and violence to issue a public message immediately disavowing the falsehoods about a “stolen election,” apologizing for the use of those lies for political purposes, and accepting of the 2020 election validity and integrity, and a clear message that harassment and calls for violence toward our public officials will not be tolerated; and

  • Seek consequences and accountability of those legislators who have continued to violate their oath of office by spreading lies about the election through formal censure, the revocation of committee assignments, and even expulsion if needed.

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Failure to disavow these lies is to ally oneself with domestic terrorism. No state legislator should be allowed to use their office platform to betray the very country and state they pledged to serve. We, the board of the Red Wing League, respectfully request prompt responses and the assurance that in the future, free and fair elections will be guaranteed.

Tina Langton

Zoe Malinchoc

Kathy Littlefield

Kathleen Gronvall

Heidi Jones

Kaitlyn Featherstone

Red Wing

Peggy Decker

Cannon Falls