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