ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota DFL party will allow non-voters to participate in precinct caucuses, party officials said Wednesday.
State Democratic Party Chairman Ken Martin said the move means felons whose voting rights have not been fully restored and immigrants who are not U.S. citizens can attend party meetings and become delegates to the convention.
Martin said the change, which was unanimously approved by the party’s executive committee, was long overdue, Minnesota Public Radio report.
“After six long years, our party can finally live its values,” he told a press conference. “As a party that supports a path to citizenship for millions of dreamers and supports restoring voting rights to millions of ex-criminals, this is a huge step in the right direction.”
The change follows a ruling by the state Court of Appeals that said parties themselves can decide who participates in caucuses and conventions, even if those same people cannot vote in elections.
Despite the court ruling, Minnesota Republican Party Chairman David Hann said voter eligibility is clearly defined in state law.
“If they’re doing it to allow their supporters to break the law to attend conventions, then they probably don’t mind allowing people who aren’t eligible to break the law when it comes to voting. in the general election,” Hann said. . “It raises a lot of questions and concerns in our minds.”
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