McLeod County is deep red Republican territory, home to state senator Scott Newman, author of the senate version of photo id amendment to the Minnesota state constitution. In a good year for Democrats, popular DFLers like Amy Klobuchar and Collin Peterson can squeak out wins; in good years for Republicans, not so much.
And the McLeod County Chronicle's a fairly conservative paper, although it's not much one for amending the state constitution; it opposed the legacy amendment that designated funds for outdoors, arts and heritage projects.
Last week, editor Rich Glennie wrote in Vote 'no' until all our questions are answered on voter ID amendment:
Blatant political maneuvering should have no permanent place in Minnesota’s Constitution. As the rheotoric ratchets up as the election nears, what does the voter ID amendment actually say?
The editorial reviews the language, then Glennie writes:
While that seems to be straight forward, it is anything but. There are a lot of details that need to be worked out before it becomes effective July 1, 2013, assuming the amendment passes. There is a whole lot of politicking going on over this amendment. So, if approved, how will the voter ID provision be implemented and how much more will it cost taxpayers to fund the changes? And what constitutes a government-issued photo ID? Is it a valid driver’s license, a corporate badge, a student ID card, or will entirely new photo IDs be issued to all of us?
While we are at it, where is the proof that there is rampant voter ID violations in Minnesota to warrant such a major overhaul of voter requirements? And why is a constitutional amendment needed when legislative actions could have accomplished the same thing through a state statute? Minnesotans are being asked to alter the Minnesota Constitution. That is a permanent change for a situation that does not seem to warrant such drastic action.
And voters are being asked to change the state Constitution without all the details being spread before them. Voters are being asked to “trust” that our leaders will get the right details in place by July 1. Would you buy a car without seeing it first? Or a house without ever stepping foot into it? So why should we approve a voter ID amendment when we do not know all the details or costs? T
he voters of Minnesota should look long and hard at this proposed amendment. Get your questions answered. If the answers are not available by Nov. 6, then vote no. If the situation warrants further review, then bring it back again when all the details are worked out. In the meantime, legislators, quit with all the politicking and do your job. Your job is to legislate, not make political end-runs with proposed amendments.
Scrutiny in the Strib
The scrutiny of the amendment continues in papers across the state. In yesterday's Star Tribune, veteran news reporter Jim Ragsdale took a close look in Photo ID edict could hit 215,000 Minnesota voters:
Showing photo identification is a no-brainer for the vast majority of Minnesotans who have the magic card in their wallets and purses and produce it regularly to conduct even the most routine transactions.
But a strict ID requirement, such as is being proposed in a constitutional amendment this November, can be a significant barrier for anyone who lives off the ID grid. According to the Minnesota secretary of state's office, that number could run as high as 84,000.
In addition to the 2.7 percent of registered voters who appear to lack a state-issued ID, the office estimates that another 4 percent -- 131,000 -- hold IDs that do not show their current voting address.
Ragsdale walks through the months and months difficulties a nursing homes experienced obtaining IDs for all residents when it planned a Caribbean cruise. Ragsdale reviews other issues the amendment may pose, though House sponsor Mary Kiffmeyer claims no eligible citizen will lose his or her right to vote if the amendment passes. Read the story for the details.
Photo: Mary Kiffmeyer (in red) is fighting the War of Voting.Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota outlines some costs of voter suppression amendment More greater Minnesota newspapers question costs of voter restriction amendment Can Greater Minnesota afford the unfunded mandate that is the photo ID amendment?