To the editor:
Minnesota leads the nation in voter fraud convictions. According to data from the Secretary of States office, in 2008 more than 6,000 same day voter registrants gave unverifiable names and addresses. Yes, Minnesota, we do have a problem.
I recently attended a joint meeting with the city and the county elected officials where one of the items on the agenda simply stated 'election process'. That agenda item actually meant the Secretary of State Mark Richie would be in attendance to spew his political bias and tout erroneous information all in the name of educating us on the Voter ID amendment (which for some reason he refused to call it.)
Most of what Mr. Richie complained about was the fact that the amendment didn't spell out all the minute details of how this amendment would change our current process.
The bill Governor Dayton vetoed in 2011 does have that information because bills are supposed to provide such particulars. Constitutional Amendments are not easily changed, as Mr. Richie stated, so his wining about the lack of detail is perplexing.
One fallacy Mr. Richie insisted would happed if this amendment was enacted was our military men and women when deployed would no longer get to vote as they do today by absentee. The amendment requires voters to present "government-issued" photographic identification.
This language allows for passports, tribal and military IDs. Details for absentee ballots haven't been finalized, but a possible requirement for voters would be the status quo today, to provide the ID number on the ballot envelope which can be verified by election personnel.
Another myth Mr. Richie claimed was that people who for religious reason don't want themselves photographed won't be able to vote.
This issue is already provided for in our federal law, which takes precedence over state laws, and therefore will never be an issue.
An additional lie Mr. Richie cited was that 700,000 Minnesotans would not have been able to vote in our last election if this amendment had been in place. Included in that number is probably the 500,000 same day registered voters, for some reason Mr. Richie believes same day registrants don't have photo IDs? The 200,000 non-citizens (census data) who live in our great state are not eligible to vote anyway.
Is this going to cost anything to fix? Yes, Mr. Richie was right about pretty much only that. It was and will always cost Minnesotans something to fix this. With all the other inaccurate information Mr. Richie shared with us, I'm not about to believe his numbers.
Every illegal ballot cast cancels out that many legal ballots. The integrity of the ballot in Minnesota is in jeopardy.