When an op-ed is as filled with illogic as this op-ed, questions must be asked. First, let’s see what the writer said:
Recognizing these and other significant problems with the Voter ID amendment, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie last week proposed an alternative. Electronic poll books, offered through the Minnesota-based technology firm Datacard, would match voters at the polls with drivers’ license records in the Department of Motor Vehicles database. Those not in the system could register and have their photo taken on the spot, meaning no one wrongfully would be prevented from casting a ballot because of ID.
This doesn’t solve a thing because electronic poll books don’t prove that the person getting a ballot meets the requirements in Minnesota’s Constitution:
Every person 18 years of age or more who has been a citizen of the United States for three months and who has resided in the precinct for 30 days next preceding an election shall be entitled to vote in that precinct.
Cynthia Moothart opens her op-ed with this:
With approval ratings at historic lows and poll after poll showing they’re out of step with most Minnesotans, it strains the imagination to think that Republican lawmakers would nonetheless say “trust us” when doing something so great as rewriting the Constitution.
Yet that’s what happened last week, when a constitutional amendment requiring photo ID in order to vote cleared another legislative hurdle with only Republican support. If passed this legislative session, voters would give an up or down vote on the principle this November, although the actual provision wouldn’t be written until 2013.
Apparently Ms. Moothart hasn’t noticed that an overwhelming majority of Minnesotans have said that they’d trust Republicans on this issue. This article shows how willing people are to trust Republicans on Photo ID:
Party affiliation – Yes, 92% of Republicans support voter ID. So do 76% of independents…and 59% of those wingnutty Democrats in Minnesota, too.
The thing that TakeAction Minnesota and the League of Rural Voters can’t admit is that people understand that election integrity is a high priority to voters. They’ve heard the stories about ACORN’s voter registration fraud. They’ve seen Project Veritas’ videos showing how easy it is to commit voter fraud in Minnesota.
In short, they get it.
This testimony is particularly damning to TakeAction Minnesota’s and the League of Rural Voters’ case:
RICK SMITHSON: We had an incident. I live in a small town of about 900 people and we had — I’m not sure. I called one of the city council members to ask him. It was between 10 and 13 people came into the same day registration table. And by the way, I election judge all the time so I’ve seen situations like this, not necessarily exactly like this but very similar ones.
On this particular night, between 10 and 13 people showed up for same day registration. They all claimed that the local laundromat address as their residence. When we challenged it, we called the State Auditors Office and we were told that there was nothing we could do about it. We were told that we couldn’t interfere with their right to vote but we could make note of it.
King Banaian defeated Carol Lewis by 13 votes in the 2010 election. Rep. Banaian now represents eastern St. Cloud in the state legislature. The League of Rural Voters, Common Cause MN, the League of Women Voters MN and TakeAction Minnesota have said that voter fraud is rare.
It’s true that voter fraud numbers are statistically insignificant. That isn’t the same as saying voter fraud isn’t electorally significant. With more races being decided by less than 50 votes with each election cycle, it’s imperative that we tighten up Minnesota’s election system as much as possible.
It’s annoying to hear the DFL’s chanting points. Here’s one of their favorites:
The only type of election fraud a photo identification requirement would prevent is voter impersonation.
When Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota made that statement, they tried making it sound like it doesn’t happen often. The facts as testified to by Mr. Smithson tell a different story.
When 13 people go into a small town and claim that the laundromat is their primary residence, that’s proof of real voter fraud. When the veteran election judge challenges the validity of these people’s address, that’s reason to think people are trying to vote illegally.
Citizens for Election Integrity makes this point in their less-than-scientific study:
Another way of evaluating the survey results is to review the total number of investigations of voter impersonation (7) and compare it to the total number of 2008 voters (2,921,498), which allows us to see that the total percent of all voters who were investigated for voter impersonation was two ten-thousandths of one percent (0.0002%). There was not one single conviction of voter impersonation.
Considering the fact that between 10 and 13 people in one small town who claimed that their primary residence was a laundromat, CEIMN’s ‘study’ is pretty much worthless. Rep. Kiffmeyer can find people who can give firsthand testimony highlighting questionable people attempting to vote. Why can’t CEIMN do the same?
The bottom line is this: the DFL and their corrupt special interest groups are scrambling because they’re on the wrong side of a prominent issue. The DFL knows that they can’t just do nothing because it’ll kill them politically but they can’t propose a real solution, either.
That’s why Ritchie outlined a proposal to a problem he says doesn’t exist.
Comments welcome at Let Freedom Ring.