By Tony Cornish
“There is no voter fraud! It’s a solution in search of a problem by those darned Republicans who only want their people to vote! It’s scary!”
Oops! Turns out Voter ID opposition is April Fools from liberals. They forgot about this:
Earlier this week, Colorado discovered 300 suspected non-citizens that had registered to vote, and the son of a Virginia Congressman — his campaign’s field director — was caught on tape giving advice about how to commit voter fraud.
In Minnesota, 1,099 felons voted in the 2008 election; 200 have been convicted, according to the group Minnesota Majority. The 2008 Senate recount found 25 precincts with more votes than registered voters, according to The Wall Street Journal.
In 2008 and 2010, over 7,200 voter registration cards were returned to election officials because the name or address was unverifiable. In 2010, an election judge in Harris, Minn., tried to stop 12 people from using a laundromat’s address to register and vote, according to testimony in the Minnesota House Government Operations Committee last March.
Up to 500,000 people vote in Minnesota without any verification of their identity or address. That’s how people register from laundromats and addresses that don’t exist.
Election day registrants will continue to cast live ballots. Voters can prove their identity and residency by displaying their photo ID. If the address on the ID is not current, they can use a utility bill to show they live in the precinct. If the voter forgets their ID at home, they can cast a provisional ballot and certify their ballot later. Provisional ballots are used in 44 states, and represent a miniscule percentage of ballots cast in Voter ID states.
But how are military members going to vote? And rural voters? And my grandma!?
Last I checked, a military ID is government-issued ID, which is exactly what the amendment asks voters to present. Military members who only have military ID will be able to use that, along with a utility bill, if necessary, to vote on election day. Military absentee balloting will see no changes.
Mail balloting continues. Mail voters and domestic absentee voters will simply list an ID number on their absentee envelope. Military absentee voters already have to do this. Mail voters and domestic absentee voters will continue to have a witness sign their ballot envelope; military voters won’t.
The elderly won’t have problems voting. If they don’t have a photo ID, the amendment provides for free state ID cards. If they have trouble locating their birth certificate, DVS already has a waiver process. If they vote by mail or absentee, they’ll be able to use the last four digits of their Social Security number.
Republicans don’t want students to vote!
Completely wrong. Students can use their driver’s license or state ID from Minnesota, or another state, or other government-issued ID to vote, and utility bill to show residence. Colleges will continue to provide student housing lists to local polling places. Absentee balloting will still be an option.
Won’t Voter I.D. require enabling language from the next legislature?
Yes, but we did this before with the 2006 Transportation Amendment and the 2008 Legacy Amendment, which had 38 pages of language and huge “liberal” support. So what? If the Amendment is approved, we can use language that works in other states, and it does work!
But this is waaaay too expensive!
A 2011 Minnesota Management & Budget cost estimate on Voter ID legislation showed it’s inexpensive for local governments. Using that analysis, the amendment would only cost $47,000 at the first election for all of Blue Earth County. For Nicollet County, $23,000; Waseca County, $13,300, Watonwan County, $7,700. That’s before any state contribution, and costs rapidly decrease for each succeeding election.
We know Voter I.D. is inexpensive, necessary and effective. We know no eligible voter will be disenfranchised. So what are liberals so worked up about? Are they worried about non-citizens voting? About felons voting?
Stop trying to scare local governments with false information and get out of the way of voter accountability!
Tony Cornish, R-Good Thunder, represents District 24B in the Minnesota Legislature.