With the release of a new Minnesota Poll that shows a dramatic shift away support of the voter restriction amendment, those opposed to the amendment are energized, though mindful of the survey's limitations.
Hamline University professor David Schultz's analysis, Amending the Minnesota Constitution: Reading the Polls at Schultz's Take, is a good place to start.
Greater Minnesota leaders continue to discuss problems passage of the amendment would create for rural voters. WDAZ Channel 8 reports in Peterson, Stumpf Talk About Voter ID Amendment in Hallock, MN:
People in Northwestern Minnesota are speaking out against the Minnesota Voter Identification Amendment. They fear it would might end the mail-in balloting rural residents have relied on for years.
U.S. Representative Collin Peterson and State Senator Leroy Stumpf were in Hallock today to talk about the Voter Identification Amendment. They both voiced growing concerns over the Voter Identification Amendment which will appear on the November ballot. It would require voters to have an approved id card. Peterson says it's not clear how the amendment would affect smaller counties in Northwestern Minnesota which have mail-in voting. He says it could get expensive.
Watch the news clip--ending mail-in balloting in Kittson County could potentially cost $750,000. The Fargo Forum reports in Carlson, Mondale team up to oppose Minn. voter ID amendment:
A proposed constitutional amendment to require Minnesota voters to show a photo ID could dramatically raise election costs and suppress at-risk voters while trying to address a problem that doesn’t exist, former Democratic Vice President Walter Mondale and former Republican Gov. Arne Carlson said Monday. . . .
Carlson said a study done by Hamline University business professor David Schultz found the new requirements could raise state election costs $10 million to $14 million, not including the $26 million to $63 million in extra costs for local governments and as much as $72 million in new costs that voters would have to pay to follow the new rules. . . .
[Mondale] said it also seems to have a “distinct anti-rural” feel to it because residents who don’t now have accepted forms of ID would have to travel long distances to secure the documents.
“I’m hoping that this ill-advised constitutional amendment will be rejected,” he said. “If there is a problem, let the Legislature go at it again and have a proper hearing and include the public in the process.”
In the News Tribune, Duluth Cty Council member Patrick Boyle writes in Voter ID requirement would make voting more complicated, expensive:.
In addition [to added costs], this poorly written amendment would create problems, and it would set up a complicated new system of provisional balloting. Legislators who placed this amendment on the ballot failed to address all sorts of questions I believe need to be answered before we are asked to vote. How will absentee mail-in voting be handled? Will our military members protecting our freedom overseas simply not be able to vote? How do we know? And why weren’t provisions included to make sure voting rights were protected?
Finally, and most importantly, this is voter restriction, plain and simple. The people most affected by this mandate would be active-duty military members, students, people with disabilities, rural residents and the elderly. Most of these eligible voters rely on mail-in ballots. An estimated 215,000 eligible voters in Minnesota do not have the kind of restrictive ID this amendment would require them to have. Our seniors in nursing homes often don’t have the underlying documents — like birth certificates or marriage licenses indicating a name change — and would have a hard, if not impossible, time securing a photo ID. . . .
Even Fox News 9 reports about these questions in Early, absentee voting gets underway -- but will voter ID change it?
There are differing opinions on whether absentee voting would remain simple if the photo ID amendment passes.
"There are some questions that are unanswered today that clearly must be answered," said Ramsey County Elections Manager Joe Mansky.
Mansky said the first question is what to do about people who are overseas or in the military, because they would need a witness to verify that they are who they say they are on the absentee ballot and document their photo ID number.
Another question is how photo ID laws will impact provisional or temporary ballots for people voting out of the state or country, Mansky said.
"The voters will make a determination one way or the other," he said. "Whatever they decide to do, we will then rely on the Legislature to come up with whatever procedures make the most sense." . . .
As more people learn of these questions, support for the amendment is dropping. Want to volunteer to make sure more people decide to vote no? Visit Our Vote Our Future.
To learn more about how the ballot measure will impact Greater Minnesota, check out Greater MN Counts.
Photo: Collin Peterson.