Letter: ID amendment wouldn't effectively stop voter fraudJim Hightower wrote a book, “If the Gods Had Meant Us to Vote, They Would Have Given Us Candidates.”
By: Dane E. Petersen, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
Jim Hightower wrote a book, “If the Gods Had Meant Us to Vote, They Would Have Given Us Candidates.” I was starting to share Hightower’s cynicism about voting until I began seeing all the efforts to curtail voting. Obviously, people with power to change the rules saw voting as significant.
According to the ACLU (“Civil Liberties,” summer 2012), one in 10 Americans do not have a photo ID. More specifically, one in four black and one in six Latinos do not have photo IDs.
Ten percent of Americans could be disenfranchised from voting to stop the 26 cases the Department of Justice found nationally over a three-year span.
Indeed, most voter fraud is the voting by convicted felons who were unaware they had lost their right to vote. As neither driver’s license nor other photo ID lists felony convictions, this would not change under the proposed constitutional amendment.
If we wished to eliminate most voter fraud, the easiest and far cheapest solution would be to allow votes by felons.
Had I been adult probation/parole rather than juvenile residential in corrections, I would have loved to tell my clientele that I expected signed slips from voting judges that they had voted. Their felonies damaged society; their votes were a step toward being constructive members of society.
The proposed amendment is an expensive and ineffective means of addressing an issue that, using that DOJ statistic, might occur in Minnesota with one voter every six years. That single voter, by the proposed amendment, outweighs 10 percent of the voting populace every year. I do not believe this a reasonable trade-off.
Please vote “no” on the Voter ID amendment. If you must vote “yes,” I can only hope that you will never be subjected in later life to the financial or health woes that would be added to by retrospectively recognizing the cost of that “yes” vote.
Dane E. Petersen