The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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November 3, 2012

Your View: We used to be proud of state's high turnout

Remember the days when we took pride in Minnesota’s standing of the highest voter turn-out rates in the United States of America?

There is an effort afoot to diminish that prideful role. It is the amendment on voter ID. It is easy to question that proposed amendment without quoting it.

Voters on the question will not know what kind of ID will be permitted until it is decided by the 2013 Legislature. Those same legislators that contributed to a government shutdown less than a year and half ago will decide what is proper identification. Which raises another question, when a new party comes to power can it change what the 2013 legislature did?

Who pays for the “free” IDs? If obtaining a certified copy of your birth certificate is part of the process, that cost will be at least $25. Then we pay for more county workers (local property owners pay this tab) to use (after they learn and relearn depending on the legislature) the new system of provisional ballots.

Election Day registration as we know it would end. This may be true too for absentee voting and mail balloting. How does one prove by mail a valid voter ID?

When deciding a case about redistricting in the state of Georgia, the United States Supreme Court stated in Wesberry v. Sanders, 376 U.S. 1 (1964) at Page 17, “No right is more precious in a free country than that of having a choice in the election of those who make the laws under which, as good citizens, they must live. Other rights, even the most basic, are illusory if the right to vote is undermined.”

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