Letter: Preserve a best-in-nation recordA proposed constitutional amendment will require that voters present a government-approved picture identification when they vote. The exact language of the amendment will not appear on the ballot.
By: Dag Knudsen, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
A proposed constitutional amendment will require that voters present a government-approved picture identification when they vote. The exact language of the amendment will not appear on the ballot.
If all you know is what the ballot text says, then this seems reasonable. However, if you know the complete text of the proposed amendment, then you might just scream and say: ‘No way!’
This happened to me. I read the full text of the proposed amendment which prompted me to do research. What I discovered troubled me and should trouble you:
The use of picture ID does not solve voter irregularities. That is what the Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman and others concluded. The 2008 election yielded 38 convictions for illegal voting or registration. Each involved an ineligible felon.
Felons have valid photo identification. The proposed amendment would not solve these problems (ceimn.org).
“A vote for this amendment is a vote in favor of property taxes,” said Jay Evert, a Clay County commissioner.
Goodhue County may see an increase in costs ranging from $141,239 to $459,028 depending on future legislation needed to implement this amendment (http://www.ceimn.org/resources/category/ceimn-report) Estimated costs to the state, the counties, and the affected individuals range from $52,000,000 to $149,600,000.
This amendment will introduce an all new, highly complex, provisional balloting system, a complication that “local elections officials uniformly oppose” (http://www.lwvmn.org/document.doc?id=508). And 3,205 registered voters in our Senate district cast a provisional ballot in the last election. They will have to go to the county offices after the election to validate their right to vote. Otherwise, their vote will not be counted.
Real democracies seek to expand their voter turnout. This amendment will have the effect of reducing voter turnout. The language of this amendment is the most restrictive of any in the U.S. It offers no exemptions. Experiences from other states therefore do not apply in Minnesota.
Vote no in order to preserve our best-in-the-nation voting record and prevent increases in taxes and costs.