Skip to comments.Confronting myths about Minnesota's voter ID amendment
Posted on 06/22/2012 5:47:33 AM PDT by rhema
In an effort to modernize the election system, prevent voter fraud and inspire confidence in the integrity of our electoral process, the Minnesota Legislature passed legislation to allow Minnesotans to decide whether to require photo identification to vote on Election Day. Voters will have the opportunity to vote on the November ballot by answering the question: "Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to require all voters to present valid photo identification to vote and to require the state to provide free identification to eligible voters, effective July 1, 2013?"
If it's passed by a majority of voters, the Minnesota Constitution will be amended to require a voter to present photographic identification in order vote.
While the ballot question seems relatively straightforward, the issue at hand is being convoluted and misrepresented by its opponents. As the author of the legislation in the state Senate, I am a proud supporter of new voter regulation and would like to clear up some of the many myths being perpetuated about the proposed amendment.
If adopted, the amendment would require a government-issued ID rather than a government-approved ID. This provision will prohibit future legislatures or the judicial branch from eviscerating the intent of the amendment by allowing approved forms of ID such as a credit card. Military IDs, passports and drivers licenses are government-issued IDs that are difficult to forge and prove who you are and where you live.
Opponents are asserting that, if passed, there will be no exceptions for absentee voters, members of the military or those who have religious objections to being photographed. This is completely inaccurate. There is a provision in the amendment that allows voters who do not vote in person to be subjected to "substantially equivalent identity and eligibility verification." The amendment recognizes that those not voting in person will be unable to present a photo ID at the time of voting. The Legislature will be required to create an exception by enacting a method that is "substantially equivalent" to presenting an ID.
They're also telling Minnesotans that the amendment would effectively eliminate same-day registration by getting rid of Minnesota's vouching system. This, too, is untrue. A voter who does not have a proper ID will be permitted to cast a provisional ballot.
In a vouching system, a voter is vouched for by another person at the polling place, and then casts a ballot which is counted. After the election, the system tries to determine whether the vouched-for voter was eligible -- a virtual impossibility with in-person voter fraud cases. In a provisional ballot system, the voter is responsible for providing evidence of voter eligibility before the ballot is counted. A vouching system invites fraud while the provisional ballot system puts the onus to prove eligibility back on the voter.
Finally, opponents are citing the "high cost" of the provision as an argument against this important election reform. Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has traveled around the state and falsely claimed that a photo ID requirement will cost the state tens of millions of dollars in start-up and operational costs. Minnesota already operates and manages a voting system for absentee and mail-in voters. The provisional ballot system would simply be an extension of the existing system. The cost of implementing the provisions in the proposed amendment would likely be far lower than opponents claim.
So why do we need this amendment? The U.S. Supreme Court determined that voter fraud is a matter of historical fact and that states have a legitimate interest in modernizing their elections systems to prevent fraud, build voter confidence and encourage democratic participation. The Court further suggests that there is nothing wrong with the idea of requiring voters to accept the personal responsibility of proving they are who they say they are and that they are eligible to vote.
By failing to take these simple steps, an eligible voter is disenfranchised every time an ineligible voter illegally casts a ballot. We need the voter ID amendment to protect your right to participate in government and ensure that your vote is not undermined by illegal voting activity.
Scott Newman was elected to the Minnesota Senate in 2010 after serving in the Minnesota House of Representatives from 2004-06. He represents Meeker, McLeod and Wright counties in Minnesota Senate District 18.
"Accept personal responsibility"? Don't hold your breath waiting for libs to find that phrase in their Big Book O' Democrat Semantic Subterfuge.
But if you have to show picture ID, it will keep the Democrat dead voters from participating. That wouldn’t be faaaairrrr...........
I’d love to run the ad campaign, explaining the difference between requiring Voter ID and the “voter suppression” charge.
It will come too late to affect the rampant fraud expected this fall, no matter what.
But in time for the 2014 election, when the voters will be able to pass judgment on Al Franken and Psycho-Dad Dayton.
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The St Paul Pioneer Press printing out truthful common sense? It must be a very slow news day.
There is only one problem. a undervote (someone who simply leaves the question blank because they missed it or do not understand it) is counted as a NO vote.
This amendment is setup to fail.
I sure hope it does not. I have told everyone I trust to vote “yes” to watch for it on their ballots.