Via Al Juhnke's Outstate News aggregator, more evidence of rural Minnesota editors questioning the wisdom of the voter restriction amendment on the ballot in November.
There's even an impulse to suggest that Minnesotans vote no twice. Rich Glennie at the McLeod County Chronicle in Glencoe (a paper in amendment author Senator Scott Newman's district) writes in Will passage of amendments address the state's real issues?:
Will passing the marriage amendment, or the voter ID amendment for that matter, improve the economy, create more jobs or get more people back to work in Minnesota? Will passing either of these amendments make the state’s budget balance? Will it improve our roads, bridges and highways? Will it make our schools better and our children better educated?
If the answer is no, perhaps you should seriously consider rejecting both of these amendments this fall.
The Nov. 6 general election is about the economy; it is about the future of our state’s finances, its educational system and funding and its infrastructure needs.
It is not, nor should it be, about a rancorous social issue in which there is no absolute right or wrong, only divisiveness.
Nor is it about one party’s concept that there is rampant voter fraud in Minnesota, a claim yet to be proven.. . .
Read the entire editor's column at the Chronicle. The argument against the marriage amendment sounds very much like those Bluestem has heard from some independent voters here in McLeod County who generally vote for Republicans on economic policy. They are, as the saying goes, not impressed.
In his column in the Pope County Tribune, Stoneage Ramblings, John T. Stone writes in Too many unanswered questions about Voter ID:
. . .The details of how this would work are not there.
The details will be contained in what is called enabling legislation. This means a law will have to be passed by the Minnesota House and Senate and signed by Governor Dayton that spells out the details of how this would work.
Polls show that most Minnesotans don't have a problem with flashing their driver's license when they cash a check or use a credit card. I don;t. I wouldn't to vote, either.
If you read the above amendment, however, it doesn't say that a driver's license will be an approved method of identification! I think most of us assume that would be the case, but if that were true, why wasn't it included in the amendment? Some states say that military IDs and U.S. passports are acceptable. The truth is, at this point, we don't know if they will be acceptable in Minnesota. We don't know what will be acceptable, period.
A second issue for me is how long a person has to verify a provisional ballot. Will it be two days? Will it be a week? Will it be 14 days? We don't know. This is important, especially for those who have early November birthdays or who move in October. It takes different amounts of time to get different IDs. Since we don't know what IDs will be acceptable, it is hard to judge how this might affect us. Will a driver's license renewal form be acceptable, your old license with the receipt from the license bureau that shows you have renewed it? We don't know.
What about absentee ballots? How will they work? Will our military personnel be allowed to vote in state elections? That might be hard if they have to provide a photo ID to a local election official and they are stationed overseas.
There are a lot of honest questions and no real answers because of the need for enabling legislation. We're told we need this because it will cut fraud and make our voting system more secure. And yet the system does not solve the issue of felons who have not had their full rights restored, the most common form of voter "fraud." And, unless all state voter lists and photos are matched by someone's computer, a true criminal, who obtained multiple IDs, would never be caught.
I wish those who support this amendment would tell us how this would work, but they really can't, they can only tell us how they would like to see it work. So we're stuck with guessing how it would work while also hearing opponent's concerns about government costs (a real issue I understand, especially for cities and counties) and what population groups would be cut back in their ability to vote. The truth is, nobody knows how this will work, what it will cost or who will pay the costs.
If we're going to do this, let's do it correctly and understand specifically what we are deciding to do. I'm having a hard time seeing how I can vote for something that has so many unanswered questions.
In the public forum (aka the letters section) of the Brainard Dispatch, Bob Tobory writes in No on voter ID:
Mark your calendar – Nov. 6, may be the last time you are able to vote even though you are a registered legal American citizen who has voted for many years. Why? Because under the proposed constitutional amendment requiring a photo identification you will have to find some way to show a picture of yourself to the election judge. . . .
. . . If the purpose of this new law is to have fewer voters, then this is how to do it.
In the State of Pennsylvania, under a similar law, it is estimated that as many as one million people will be disenfranchised from voting.
Is this really the kind of state and country you want? Soldiers who fought for our freedom, seniors who worked to build our country, young people who are our future will all be denied the right to vote. It is unthinkable.
While a recent poll showed more support for the amendment in rural areas outside of the Range, from the looks of the discussion in local papers, those of us in the rest of the state are catching on to watch voters in urban area areas and the urban part of the Metro know.
To learn about opportunities talk to your neighbors and friends about why they should vote no on voter restriction, visit Our Vote, Our Future. To learn more about the consequences of the amendment for Greater Minnesota, check out Greater MN Counts. Like the Facebook page Minnesotans Vote No Twice.
Image: Vote No Twice.