Voter ID proposal epitomizes misguided judgment

For years, Minnesota has had one of the cleanest and best election systems in the country. The alleged voter fraud is not only an argument without merit, but will do little to minimize the miniscule amount of voter fraud. County attorneys throughout Minnesota say that 95 percent of all voter fraud happens when ex-felons vote before their probation period is completed.

The Voter ID Amendment is an unfunded mandate. That means if the amendment passes, we taxpayers will see taxes increased to pay for implementation of this amendment. The state of Minnesota will spend some $12 to $16 million to both produce voter photo IDs and to educate the citizenry regarding changes in mail-in and absentee voting, changes to Election Day registration and the introduction of provisional balloting.

Every county will spend millions on re-occurring costs of provisional balloting, electronic rosters for polling places and converting mail-in precincts to in-person precincts. In reality, the Voter ID cost will be a poll tax on voters.

As if all the added costs to citizens is not bad enough, the Voter ID Amendment would also create a totally unnecessary perpetual barrier to voting. The Voter ID amendment would stop students, people with housing instability, communities of color, people with disabilities, rural Minnesotans, older Minnesotans and active-duty service members from having a voice in our democracy.

This is just the opposite of what a democratic form of government should encourage. The simplistic excuse that voters should have voter IDs just as people have credit cards is fallaciously comparing apples to oranges in order to suppress voter turnout.

Let’s not be motivated by fear and misguided judgment. Please vote no to Voter IDs and remove from office those who support such irresponsible nonsense.

 

Lee Salisbury

Stillwater

  • Susan Arbisi

    All totally and completely justified and important in order to ensure every election is conducted with integrity.

  • Mark

    Enabling voter fraud epitomizes the democratic party.

  • Joanne Lefebvre

    Thank you for this excellent commentary that hits on all of the points of what’s wrong with this constitutional amendment. It has nothing to do with voter integrity but rather with voter restriction. Where was the demand for this? What population or area of the state demanded we change the election system that makes us #1 in the nation in voter turnout? Who campaigned in 2010 and said — send me to St. Paul so I can overturn an election system that has withstood the scrutiny of two recounts.

    There should be something about good old common sense Minnesota that says this smells funny and why is it here? Thank you…thank you for your commentary.

  • Jered W.

    A solution in search of a problem. Thanks for pointing out the multitude of problems with this poorly written amendment.

  • Cindie J Reiter

    The author is informed, lays out the issues with the amendment. Voter fraud has been reported to be less than 1% in WA County. It seems that the election process in MN has accomplished the goal of integrity. All government is for the people, the processes managed by people, yet people are human and they will make mistakes which doesn’t necessarily compromise the integrity of the entire election process. It is you, the voter, taking the oath at the top of the roster page. If you choose to commit a crime by mis-representing yourself or your address then it is you that will be charged with a felony. The cost to change a process with integrity is a WASTE of taxpayers dollars – no matter which party you allign with.

  • Doug Beedle

    Abuse is not documented, and the amendment only supports honest voting by people who are legally eligible.

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