Keep politics out of election law change [UPDATED]Published 9:23am Thursday, January 31, 2013 Updated 11:43am Thursday, January 31, 2013
Even as Rochester prepares for a special election to determine who will be its next city council president, wheels in St. Paul appear to be turning very quickly in the effort to prevent other cities from facing similar circumstances.
Rep. Kim Norton, a DFLer from Rochester, has authored a bill that would make it easier to remove a deceased candidate’s name from the ballot and open a special filing period for would-be candidates.
The death of Rochester City Council President Dennis Hanson last June, shortly after the passage of a new — and clearly flawed — election law, led to an election in which there was only one living candidate on the ballot, along with Hanson’s name.
We are pleased Norton’s bill has been fast-tracked straight to the House floor for a vote, and we hope the same thing happens in the Senate, where Rochester Republican Sen. Dave Senjem will lead the effort. We urge legislators on both sides of the aisle to resist the temptation to add other election-related amendments to the bill — amendments that could bog it down in committee.
Unless someone decides to throw a wrench into the works, we see no reason why bill shouldn’t be on Gov. Mark Dayton’s desk long before Rochester voters go to the polls on March 19.