It's not pretty. Maybe it's the close proximity of cattle and dairy farms, but when it comes to overhauling Minnesota's voting system, many rural editors seem to be possessed of that one essential thing Ernest Hemingway told the Paris Review that writers need.
The Marshall Independent is a mildly conservative paper in a Republican-red county; the editorial board has not found the case for the photo id amendment persuasive. In Let's fix problems that DO exist, they write:
Opponents of the proposed voter ID amendment - a mean-spirited amendment as it has been dubbed by some - that will be on the ballot this November have plenty of ammunition.
There's a list of negatives surrounding the issue - a fact that won't go away no matter how it's worded on the ballot.
Same-day voter registration will likely take a hit. If fewer people vote because of new ID requirements - and disenfranchisement is a given - it gives more power to special interest groups. And there's sure to be some added costs in the future if the November vote passes - and that cost could fall on the voters' shoulders.
But above all, even if you can dispute the aforementioned facts, the bottom line is this is a solution without a problem. This is not to say voter fraud doesn't exist, because it does, but in Minnesota it's anything but an epidemic. It doesn't rate anywhere on the mountain-molehill scale.
Show us proof that voter fraud is rampant enough to change the way we vote and we can have a different discussion.
While fraud by impersonation could be prevented with more strict requirements, a national survey found 10 cases of alleged in-person voter impersonation in the U.S. since 2000 - one for every 15 million voters. The analysis shows 491 cases of alleged absentee ballot fraud and 400 cases involving registration fraud. Requiring voters to show identification at the polls would not have prevented those cases.
If that's accurate, the obvious question is, once again, is: Why are we even bothering with this?
Everyone strives for open, fair and honest elections; we already have them in Minnesota. . . . .
There's more: read the whole thing. Elsewhere, Sean Olsen's excellent Brick City Blog, published in the miasmatic jungles of Carver County, checks out How the Voter ID amendment could change voting in this state [UPDATED].
In Chanhassen LWV Voter ID presentation set for September 18, Olsen also notes that the thing that made Bradlee Dean whisperer and state Representative Ernie Leidiger yell, a presentation by the local League of Women Voters (now thought to be Agents of Soros or something like that), will happen again. A good opportunity for videographers.
Also worth checking out: Voter ID ballot campaigns struggle by Paul Demko at Politics in Minnesota. Demko reports that fundraising for both pro and anti amendment forces are dwafted by those promoting or battling the marriage amendment. Of the $200,000 that Minnesota Majority raised, $150,00 of it came from West Metro One-percenter Joan Cummins, spouse of Bob Cummins.
On the anti-side, Our Vote Our Future has reported just over $200,000, but much of it is in-kind contributions from members of the broad coalition 80 organizations, ranging from the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits to the Farmers Union, from SEIU to AARP and The Arc. OVOF has assembled a tripartisan group of co-chairs, including IP standardbearer (and former DFLer) Tim Penny, former DFL Vice President Walter Mondale, former GOP Gov. Arne Carlson, and civil rights activist Josie Johnson.
MN Majority's director Dan McGrath fears--and the coalition hopes--that grassroots doorknocking, phonebanking and tele-town halls will sway voters to just say no to voter suppression in November.
While the fundraising may be evenly matched, Bluestem is seeing the #NoPhotoID arguments winning the debate in small town editorial boards. Will this be enough to sway the voters that it's not so simple a question?More greater Minnesota newspapers question costs of voter restriction amendment Can Greater Minnesota afford the unfunded mandate that is the photo ID amendment?