Senator Scott Newman, the chief senate author of the amendment, lives in rural Hutchinson; before he retired, he kept a law office in town.
In Don't restrict voting rights, publisher Brent Schacherer and editor Doug Hanneman write:
On the surface, the Voter ID Amendment that will appear on the Nov. 6 ballot holds a great deal of appeal. Why shouldn’t voters be required to show evidence of who they are when they show up at the polls?
But a closer look reveals the amendment has deep, troubling flaws. The most obvious is that it attempts to create a solution for a problem that doesn’t exist. Voter fraud, if it has occurred anywhere in Minnesota, wasn’t even mentioned during two contested vote recounts, when every ballot cast was scrutinized to the highest degree. Where’s the conclusive proof?
For that reason alone, we cannot support a “yes” vote.
But there are even deeper problems with this proposal.
They review a litany of problems, then conclude:
Hutchinson resident Don Walser contended in a recent letter to this page that the voter ID proposal is a scheme. “If you plan to vote for this amendment because you think there is a voter fraud problem, then you have been misled,” he wrote. “If you plan to vote for it because you want to reduce the number of people whose vote will be different from yours, then you have no respect for American democracy.”
Mr. Walser’s implied argument is that our democracy stays strong when virtually every adult is empowered with the constitutional right to vote.
Minnesotans shouldn’t have it any other way
The editorial also appeared in the Litchfield Independent Review, the Leader's sister paper in Senate District 18. Earlier, on October 16, the paper in Litch had published Newman’s Voter ID solution in search of a problem, a "send it back" commentary by retired Independent Review editor Stan Roeser/
Local public access cable here in Hutchinson is replaying a recent legislative candidate debate featuring District 18B candidates. Both Newman and Representative Glenn Gruenhagen railed against the opposition, barely containing their anger.
Some guys just can't accept no as an answer.
The board at the Hutchinson and Litchfield papers aren't the only ones challenging Newman's certainity. In the Rochester Post-Bulletin, former Independence Party gubernational candidate Tim Penny writes in Proposed amendment leaves too many unanswered questions:
When you place a constitutional amendment on the ballot, you better be sure it does what it claims. All the i’s must be dotted and the t’s crossed.
Unfortunately, a constitutional amendment that appears the November ballot, an amendment that would restrict the voting rights of hundreds of thousands of eligible Minnesota voters, does not meet that standard.
Proponents of this amendment claim that our election system needs fixing, and that a photo ID requirement, engraved in our state constitution, is the answer. Unfortunately, the problem this flawed amendment seeks to fix, wouldn’t actually be fixed with this amendment.
I agree that electoral systems must be open to reform and modernization. But placing these reforms into our constitution should only be done with broad bipartisan support and careful study balancing the gains against what will be lost. The voter ID amendment, in contrast, was placed on the November ballot by a party-line majority vote in the Legislature.
Technical electoral changes, such as requiring specific forms of photo ID to be shown before being allowed to vote, are best done by legislation, not a constitutional amendment. . . .
Read the rest at the Post Bulletin. Penny is the co-chair of the Our Vote, Our Future campaign. 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.
Photos: Northeast of Hutchinson, a property owner who supports Republican candidates also supports a “no” vote on the voter ID amendment. Via Hutchinson Leader (above); Senator Scott Newman isn't the only unhappy Republican in SD18 (below).