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Klobuchar visits Humphrey School, talks about threats to democracy

The United States senator attended an hour-long lecture and answered questions from a Humphrey professor.
Image by Alex Steil
Klobuchar also came to the University in May to attend Walter Mondale’s memorial service.

United States Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) spoke at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs on Oct. 6 as a part of the ongoing Mondale Dialogues series at the University of Minnesota, named after former professor and vice president of the United States Walter Mondale.

The series hosts different experts who speak on social issues. Klobuchar spoke to students about the ongoing threats to democracy and action she is taking federally to address these issues.

Organized and moderated by Larry Jacobs, a professor at the Humphrey School, the event covered the Electoral Count Act and a pending Supreme Court case that could change how states administer elections.

The Electoral Count Act was introduced on July 20 to clarify the role of Congress and the vice president when counting Electoral College votes. It was introduced in response to the Jan. 6, 2021 insurrection in the U.S. Capitol and recently passed by a committee Klobuchar chairs.

“One of the reasons she draws such a large crowd is because she is a leading national figure,” Jacobs said.

During her speech, Klobuchar also mentioned the Freedom to Vote Act and said she thinks voting rights have become a partisan issue in recent years. Klobuchar, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and other senators introduced the bill as a compromise between progressive and moderate Democrats to help ease its passage. The bill was unable to pass the Senate in January.

According to Klobuchar, the Freedom to Vote Act “corrects some other problems with the Voting Rights Act” that came after a Supreme Court decision in 2013.

“Sadly these bills are not supported bipartisan,” Klobuchar said during her speech.

Jacobs also mentioned a new Humphrey School program that will allow individuals to earn a certificate in election administration and become election officials.

The program will be taught by leading election officials in the country, according to Jacobs.

Klobuchar said in an email statement to the Minnesota Daily that this generation of students is the future, and she is “committed to updating the Electoral Counts Act to … ensure the will [of] voters prevails in presidential elections.”

“I’d say to all students — stay engaged, keep contacting your elected officials about the issues that matter to you and most importantly, vote,” said Klobuchar. “Your vote is your power.”

The 2022 midterm election is Tuesday, Nov. 8.

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