Editors shake their heads no
Within the last month, Bluestem has noted the objections to the amendment by editors at the DLOnline (Detroit Lakes), the Mankato Free Press, the Marshall Independent and the McLeod County Chronicle (Glencoe). And on October 1, the Fergus Falls Daily Journal weighed in with Cost of voter ID progam is too steep.
Today, the editorial board of the 22 paper ECM chain writes in ECM opposes voter ID amendment:
This country is stronger when virtually every adult is empowered with their constitutional right to vote.
Few restrictions should limit this right, and a change in those limits should only be made when it’s been demonstrated that the rights of the majority are in danger.
There are two principles of a free election on which all should agree. Those who either are not citizens or who have lost their right to vote should not be voting. Every citizen regardless of economic physical condition, politics, religious belief, race, gender or age must be given an opportunity to vote. . . .
. . .The editorial board also noted that Minnesota consistently is a leader in voter turnout, in part because it has same-day voter registration that would be eliminated in favor of provisional voting, which some experts believe could reduce the number of voters, drive up the cost of elections and delay the outcome.
The editorial board also stressed that the mechanics of conducting an election should be handled in the legislature and not by amending the constitution, which was written to protect voter freedom.
In the final analysis, the empowerment of every citizen to cast a ballot outweighs the prevention of perceived but unproven voter fraud.
If Minnesota Majority had hoped for a spiral of silence on this one, that mechanism has failed.
The ECM chain is Minnesota Nice, Vote No Twice as well, since the editorial board earlier came out against the amendment to restrict the right to marry, as Bluestem noted at the end of September in In Morrison Co Record, ECM Editorial Board votes no; WDN lauds Walz for Vets United.
While many voter restriction supporters advocate for the replacement of public assistance with private charity, they're probably not happy about the concerns non-profits are raising about the amendments.
In Voter ID sounds simple, but it isn’t, a column published in the Winona Daily News, Lutheran Social Services CEO Jodi Harpstead writes:
When the Voter ID amendment was first introduced earlier this year, most people thought this issue was a no-brainer. A recent poll suggests otherwise.
A recent Star Tribune Minnesota Poll reports that 52 percent of Minnesotans support Voter ID, down from 80 percent who supported the amendment several months ago.
Why the huge drop in support? I think it’s because Minnesotans are beginning to learn more about the weighty implications of this amendment.
At Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, we have studied this issue and with support of our board of directors have taken a stand to oppose the Voter ID amendment. We believe that all people should have the opportunity to be full members of our community, including participating in our democracy and having the fundamental right to vote.
Read her reasons at the WDN. A smaller group in central Minnesota, the 7 County Senior Federation writes in Voting Law Changes Would Harm Seniors:
The 2012 elections might just be a turning point for seniors, not just in Minnesota, but across the country. A number of states are attempting to implement legislation and or laws that would restrict, and certainly hinder, the ability of many seniors to vote.
In Minnesota there will be a proposed Constitutional Amend-ment on the ballot this fall. If passed, the law would require all voters to produce a current photo ID in order to cast a ballot. It seems simple enough until you begin to look behind the numbers and the history of voting in the state. The incidence of voter fraud (someone attempting to impersonate someone else in order to vote) is a problem that has no history. . . .
Check it out on the group's website. The League of Rural Voters isn't a traditional non-profit but a group advocating civic engagment on pro-rural policy. The Fairmont Sentinel has published policy director Cynthia Moothart's column, Take a closer look, which had appeared earlier in the Grand Forks Herald and other places around the state.
Letters from voters
In the Winona Daily News, Dana Peterson writes in ID amendment wouldn't effectively stop voter fraud:
Indeed, most voter fraud is the voting by convicted felons who were unaware they had lost their right to vote. As neither driver’s license nor other photo ID lists felony convictions, this would not change under the proposed constitutional amendment. . . .
The proposed amendment is an expensive and ineffective means of addressing an issue that, using that DOJ statistic, might occur in Minnesota with one voter every six years. That single voter, by the proposed amendment, outweighs 10 percent of the voting populace every year. I do not believe this a reasonable trade-off.
Please vote “no” on the Voter ID amendment. If you must vote “yes,” I can only hope that you will never be subjected in later life to the financial or health woes that would be added to by retrospectively recognizing the cost of that “yes” vote.
At the Brainerd Dispatch, election judge Kathy Hegstrom writes in No voter I.D.:
The premise behind the proposed voter I.D. amendment it that a voter identification is necessary to secure election integrity. This is a false premise. Voter fraud in Minnesota is virtually nonexistent.
I have been trained and served as a federal election judge numerous times, and not once have I experienced anyone trying to vote in an illegal manner — nor do I know of any other judge who has experienced voter fraud. . . .
The rest can be found at the Dispatch. Marie Crawford writes the Mankato Free Press to say in Election Day time to remember 1964:
On June 21,1964, 48 years ago, three young men — 21-year-old James Chaney, 20-year-old Andrew Goodman and 24-year-old Michael Schwerner — were beaten and murdered. Their bodies were then discarded.
These three gave the final sacrifice to uphold our founding fathers idea: “All men are created equal,” as they tried to register black voters in Mississippi.
Their potential to improve America with their passion and intelligence has been lost to us.
Please remember Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner — forever young — as you step into the voting booth in November and cast your vote regarding photo ID.
A final note: the Post Bulletin's Answer Man looks at who is funding both sides of the debate over voter restriction (never mind the headline...)
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.
Graphic: The ECM media chain's editorial has indeed urged Minnesotans to Vote No Twice.Can Greater Minnesota afford the unfunded mandate that is the photo ID amendment?