Since the Entenza campaign hasn't backed down on its portrait of incumbent state auditor Rebecca Otto as a young Voter ID supporter (during her one term in the Minnesota House in 2003-2004), it's worth pointing out that her campaign manager--and husband--published commentary opposing the voter restriction amendment in 2012.
The column was published on September 24, 2012 as Voter ID will disenfranchise many, in which he pointed out the problems provisional ballot measures would pose for those many Minnesotans who register to vote on election day.
This complication would fall especially hard on college students, Shawn Otto wrote:
Recent polling indicates that the voter ID amendment may pass. This suggests that most Democrats and most young people don't really understand what's at stake. It's not about voter fraud. Minnesota has had no cases of voter impersonation, which is the only kind of fraud that a government-issued photo ID would prevent. It's about turning Minnesota into a "red state" for the foreseeable future. Here's how.
Half of voters ages 18 to 34 use election-day registration. Two-thirds of them vote Democrat. Passing the photo ID amendment will discourage many of those younger voters from voting, likely costing Democrats 3 to 5 statewide percentage points in presidential years and about 2 statewide points in off-years, well beyond the margins many races are decided by. And that's the plan.
The voter ID amendment will do this by eliminating election-day registration as we know it. Two thirds of election-day registrants are under age 35 -- about 350,000 voters. If the amendment passes, instead of registering on the spot and voting, they will only be able to cast a "provisional ballot."
They will then have to bring registration documents to the county auditor. This will turn the current single-step process into a two-step process with a large hassle factor. Many will conclude it's simply not worth it. In Indiana, a state with a photo ID requirement, 80 percent of the ID-related provisional ballots were not counted in the 2008 general election. . . .
With a red-state Legislature, we'd see union-busting bills; anti-reproductive-rights bills; the rollback of environmental regulations; a continuing revenue shift to property taxes and gambling; further cuts to schools; increases in college tuition; further privatization; a health care rollback; more denial of science and passage of legislation based not on facts but ideology, and more constitutional amendments favored by the religious right. With this high probability of one-party rule, it's obvious why Republicans are pushing for this amendment, and why national conservative groups like ALEC are backing it in several states. . . .
The message was far more partisan than that of the Our Vote, Our Future campaign, but Rebecca Otto's campaign manager and spouse cannot be accused of lacking DFL values.
There's an interesting back story to the column confirmed to Bluestem by several friends who attended the September 22, 2012 Writers United for All Families fundraiser that Rebecca and Shawn Otto (a writer in multiple genres) sponsored along with other writers and artists opposed to the marriage restriction amendment.
Shawn Otto would later collect works for an ebook anthology about the freedom to marry by 17 writers gathered at the fundraiser, but at that reading, he shared this piece concerning the other amendment. Two days later, the Star Tribune published the commentary.
It's silly for the Entenza campaign to dredge up the old vote, when the Otto family's stance on voter restriction was abundantly and publicly clear in 2012. We have found that Entenza did some GOTV work in the final week of the campaign in November 2012 against both amendment, but it appears that his focus in 2012 was much more centered on defeating the marriage amendment. (Readers who know of additional effects are urged to contact us.)
Two-term incumbent and DFL endoree Rebecca Otto is being challenged in the DFL primary by former state representative Matt Entenza. The winner of the August 12 primary will face endorsed Republican Randy Gilbert.
Photo: Writer/Director/Author, science advocate, Rebecca Otto for Auditoy campaign manager and Rebecca Otto's spouse, Shawn Lawrence Otto. Via Wikipedia Commons.
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