The Marriage Amendment has taken center stage on the major issues Minnesotans will be voting on in four days. There is another amendment on the ballot this year that deserves equal attention.
I want to explain why I'm voting no on the Voter ID amendment.
1. This amendment is very expensive.
MN has run deficits 8 of the past 11 elections. This amendment has been estimated to cost the state somewhere between 10-14 million over four years. These costs will cover the "free" IDs and taxpayer education.
The costs to local governments will be much higher, somewhere between 26 million and 64 million. These costs will cover provisional balloting, electronic rosters for polling places, converting mail-in polling places to in-person precincts. These costs will be largely paid through property tax revenue; property taxes are already at an all time high.
This amendment is an example of wasteful government spending that will limit one of our most important rights, the right to vote.
Disclaimer*** You may have noticed by now that I tend to be a bit liberal, but that doesn't mean I don't think fiscal responsibility should be centerstage in alll important political decisions. (-:
2. Voter Fraud is not a problem in MN (or in the US)
There is no evidence of voter impersonation in any MN election.
We had statewide recounts in 2008 and 2010 and voter fraud was not found to be a problem; in fact, the recount illustrated how sound the voting system is here in MN.
3. This amendment will keep an estimated 200,000 Americans from the polls.
This legislation allows only 4 kinds of photo IDs for voting: a driver's license, a MN issued photo ID card, a tribal ID or a newly created form of voter ID. (Which means you could NOT use a passport, military ID or student ID). To obtain a "free" voter id, you'd need to obtain a driver's license of birth certificate. This disadvantages anyone who has moved far from their county of birth, cannot drive, or does not have the means to obtain such documents as they cost money and time to obtain.
The right to vote is protected by both the US and the MN constitution.
Republican, Democrat, who cares? Vote No on Voter ID.
For more info:
It should also be noted, that the entire wording of the legislation is not included on the ballot. For the full wording, see this document: http://www.lwvmn.org/document.doc?id=508
Some related links if you'd like to know more:
Non-partisan group the League of Women's Voters provides a multitude of information on their site: http://www.lwvmn.org/sslpage.aspx?pid=1197
A summary of the MPR debate that took place on Tuesday, October 30 2012. http://www.startribune.com/politics/statelocal/176522591.html?refer=y
The Cost of the Proposed Election Amendment (source of stats above): http://www.ceimn.org/sites/default/files/Cost%20of%20Minnesota%27s%20Proposed%20Elections%20Amendment_corrected_0.pdf