While the rest of the blogosphere is distracted by former Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Brodkorb's peep into the seraglio of tactical Republican gropings on gay marriage, Bluestem's fancy turns toward that most incivil of amendments, voter restriction.
In the Rochester Post Bulletin, reader Jean David writes in There are hidden consequences to voter ID:
I recently received a thought-provoking live town hall phone call from Michelle Kimball, state president of AARP. Her guest was former Gov. Arne Carlson, who was very articulate and passionate about voting no on ballot question No. 2: Should Minnesota require a photo ID to be eligible to vote?
Mr. Carlson reminded us that government does not have the right to impose impediments on its citizens' right to vote; yet we are being asked to deny Minnesotans that right because they cannot produce a valid photo ID with current address. This could include absentee balloting, military voting, and those transitioning to nursing homes.
Minnesota has found virtually no cases of voter fraud in the past. Yet we are being asked to approve the strictest voter law in the nation with no exemptions for the photo ID! Arne Carlson noted that the state of Mississippi exempted nursing homes in the passage its voter photo ID amendment. Even so, it is now being challenged in the courts.
There are hidden costs and hidden consequences to passing such a restrictive constitutional amendment. Carlson placed those costs potentially exceeding $100 million, with millions in costs to local government.
We taxpayers don't need this additional burden, when the state is already facing a $4 billion shortfall. Vote no on ballot question No. 2.
The Forum Communications chain takes a look at A look at Minnesota voter photo ID issues. It's a decent summary of the divisions on the issue.
Definitely worth a watch: What we don't know about the voter ID amendment from Minnesota Public Radio.
Photo: Mary Kiffmeyer fights the War on Voters.