Former MN Secretary of State Joan Anderson Growe: Everyone's vote should be counted

Minnesotans are voting early at a record-setting pace this fall. That means the popular red and white “I Voted” stickers are cropping up far more than normal for this time of year.

You might not know those iconic stickers date back about three decades. They were introduced in Minnesota in the early 90’s by Joan Anderson Growe, one of the longest-serving secretaries of state in Minnesota history. It was an attempt to build excitement around voting, to instill a sense of pride and community.

Growe was behind many election-related processes we now take for granted — things like same-day voter registration and the “motor voter” law.

At a time when the election system is under fire, Growe is out with a new book, “Turnout,” reflecting on her long career.

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A book jacket.
The book cover of "Turnout" by Joan Anderson Growe.
Courtesy of Minnesota Historical Society Press

She told MPR News host Cathy Wurzer she’s concerned about growing distrust in our current voting system. “What distresses me so much is the fact that there’s all this fear-mongering going on,” she said. “At least in Minnesota, there is no need for people to fear.”

Still, she said, people should be prepared to be patient on election night.

“We’re not conducting an election so that [people] at home can be happy to hear the news at 10 o’clock," she said. “We’re conducting an election to be sure everyone gets to vote, and to be sure that everyone’s vote is counted.”

Click on the player above to hear the full conversation.

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