Sep 22, 2021 - Politics
Minnesota gubernatorial candidate applauds Mike Lindell
Scott Jensen and Mike Lindell
(L to R) Mike Lindell and Scott Jensen. Photos: Getty Images/The Jensen campaign

As he campaigned across the state this summer, GOP gubernatorial candidate Scott Jensen gave props to one of the state's most recognizable — and controversial — Republican figures: MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell.

Driving the news: At an event in St. Paul in August, the former state senator bemoaned what he predicted would be a lack of action from Gov. Tim Walz and DFL legislators on election changes sought by Republicans, such as passing a voter ID law and reducing use of mail-in ballots.

Weeks earlier, in Mankato, he told a crowd of Republicans: "Mike Lindell's gonna work his tail off trying to get rid of machines, and we should thank him for that."

The big picture: The "Big Lie," the false claim from Lindell, former President Donald Trump and other Republicans that the 2020 election was "stolen," threatens to undermine the results of future elections and faith in democracy. There is no evidence of widespread voter fraud in 2020.

  • Dominion Voting Systems sued Lindell in February over his baseless claims about voting machines in last year's presidential election, which have been debunked by political and cyber security experts.

What he's saying: In an interview with Axios last week, Jensen said he shares concerns about election integrity in general. But he said his comments were not necessarily an endorsement of Lindell's specific theories related to 2020.

  • "He and I have never talked about that so I wouldn't know what he's saying," Jensen said of Lindell’s efforts.
  • "Let's not play a gotcha game," he added. "Anyone with lawsuits I wish the best of luck."

Of note: Jensen posted a video to Twitter in August featuring a conversation with a state senator about Lindell's "cyber symposium" in South Dakota.

What to watch: Jensen said he views concerns about fair elections as a nonpartisan issue and wants to see paper ballots — not vote-counting machines — used in 2022.

Reality check: Minnesota already uses paper ballots. They're fed through ballot tabulator machines that add up the results.

  • Election officials conduct random audits post-election and check some precinct results by hand.
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