Archive for the ‘Election 2008’ Category
Senate Majority Leader Bakk’s statements on raising the gas tax are bewildering because they’re inconsistent. Check out what Sen. Bakk told Bill Hanna in mid-January:
Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk of Cook, who will have a lot to see in any final road funding bill, echoed Tomassoni’s assessment about road funding.
“There’s tremendous support for fixing roads and bridges. But the funding is never popular,” Bakk said. “I don’t know what the whole thing will look like, but we will have the conversation. We’ve got a serious 20-year problem.”
Here’s what the Senate DFL proposed back then:
Senate DFL: $800 million a year through a gas tax increase at the wholesale level of 6.5 percent a gallon, which would come on top of the current 28.5 cents per gallon gas tax and a metro-only 1-cent sales tax increase, which would raise an estimated $251 million in 2016 for Twin Cities transit costs.
There’s no denying that Sen. Bakk supported raising the gas tax to fix Minnesota’s roads and bridges. Fast forward to Don Davis’ article. Here’s what he’s saying now:
Enter Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk. The St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that he says there really is no need to approve billions of dollars in transportation improvements this year. “Transportation probably doesn’t have to happen. … We can kick the can down the road for the next Legislature to deal with. That’s what’s been happening.”
Sen. Bakk better hope that people don’t notice that he’s indicted the DFL with his statement. Since 2007, Republicans had the majority in the Senate in 2011-12. Republicans control the House this year. They also held the majority in 2011-12.
By comparison, the DFL held supermajorities in the House and Senate in 2007-2010. In 2007, the DFL held an 85-49 seat majority in the House and a 45-22 majority in the Senate. After the 2008 election those margins changed to 87-47 in the House and a 46-21 majority in the Senate. Add into that the fact that Mark Dayton was the DFL governor and that the DFL had complete control of the Legislature in 2013-14. Sen. Bakk speaking of kicking the can down the road is indicting himself. They had the perfect opportunity to fix our roads and bridges, then opted to kick the can down Minnesota’s potholed roads.
Sen. Bakk’s spin is bewildering because he won’t stake out a consistent position. That’s proof, in my opinion, that he’s playing a purely political game because he’s caught in a politically difficult position.
That’s what happens when you try to play politics instead of doing the right thing right from the start.
Later today, the Senate Intelligence Committee will release a report on terrorist interrogations. It’s already being called the “Torture Report.” Retired CIA officer Jose Rodriguez wrote this op-ed to expose Dianne Feinstein’s and Nancy Pelosi’s dishonesty. Let’s start with this:
According to news accounts of the report, Feinstein and her supporters will say that the CIA violated American principles and hid the ugly truth from Congress, the White House and the public. When the report comes out, I expect that few of the critics who will echo Feinstein’s charges will have read it and far fewer will read or understand the minority response and the CIA’s rebuttal.
The interrogation program was authorized by the highest levels of the U.S. government, judged legal by the Justice Department and proved effective by any reasonable standard. The leaders of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees and of both parties in Congress were briefed on the program more than 40 times between 2002 and 2009. But Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) tried to deny that she was told in 2002 that detainees had been waterboarded. That is simply not true. I was among those who briefed her.
Sen. Feinstein and Rep. Pelosi should be tarred and feathered for their dishonesty. That Ms. Pelosi would say that she hadn’t been briefed by Mr. Rodriguez is proof of Ms. Pelosi’s utter dishonesty. She should be criticized mercilessly for being a liar. After that, Democrats should be tarred and feathered for deserting a program that saved American lives for purely partisan reasons.
Initially, Democrats insisted that the CIA do all that it could to prevent another terrorist attack:
In one ear they hear the public, the media and members of Congress raising alarms about the terrorist threat from the Islamic State: Do something! Do it now! Why didn’t you do something sooner?
The Democrats’ dishonesty is easily explained. In the days after 9/11, Democrats put the needs of the nation first. By 2006, the Democrats noticed how animated the anti-war left had become. Seeking to capitalize on the anti-war left’s enthusiasm, Democrats like Sen. Feinstein, Ms. Pelosi and candidates like Amy Klobuchar ran as anti-war lefties. The same anti-war lefties then powered Barack Obama’s presidential election victory in 2008.
Members of Congress and the administration were nearly unanimous in their desire that the CIA do all that it could to debilitate and destroy al-Qaeda. The CIA got the necessary approvals to do so and kept Congress briefed throughout.
Democrats say that waterboarding violates American principles. That’s BS. Since when does saving hundreds of American lives violate American principles? I’d love seeing a Democrat explain how saving American lives violates American principles, especially since the Constitution requires the president to protect and defend the United States.
This morning’s op-ed isn’t Mr. Rodriguez’s first op-ed. Here’s what he wrote in his April, 2014 op-ed:
On Thursday, the Senate Intelligence Committee voted to declassify and release hundreds of pages of its report on U.S. terrorist interrogation practices. Certain senators have proclaimed how devastating the findings are, saying the CIA’s program was unproductive, badly managed and misleadingly sold. Unlike the committee’s staff, I don’t have to examine the program through a rearview mirror. I was responsible for administering it, and I know that it produced critical intelligence that helped decimate al-Qaeda and save American lives.
Here’s Mr. Rodriguez’s opinion of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report:
The committee’s staff members started with a conclusion in 2009 and have chased supportive evidence ever since. They never spoke to me or other top CIA leaders involved in the program, or let us see the report.
The thought that this report would be praised by Democrats as the definitive report on the CIA’s interrogation techniques is insulting to thoughtful, honest people. The Feinstein Report is a political hatchet job. It isn’t a serious review of the CIA’s interrogation techniques.
If a CIA expert said that EITs “saved American lives”, I’ll trust him, not partisan Democrat hacks like Sen. Feinstein or Ms. Pelosi.
Technorati: Jose Rodriguez, CIA, Congressional Briefings, Dianne Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi, Anti-War Left, Senate Intelligence Committee, CIA Torture Report, Democrats, Amy Klobuchar, Election 2006, Barack Obama, Election 2008
It’s hard to believe but today marks the 10 year blogiversary for LFR. It’s been an incredible experience. The first subject that I sunk my teeth into was the Orange Revolution in the Ukraine. These days, there isn’t much in the way of good news coming from across the ocean thanks to our incredibly inept president.
Back when I started, I did lots of writing about world events. After the 2006 election disaster, I started paying attention to state government. In March, 2007, I broke my first news story thanks to a great tip from then-Rep. Steve Gottwalt. It’s still one of my favorite posts:
I just got off the phone with Steve Gottwalt, who had some shocking news from the Capitol. Today, at a committee hearing, Cy Thao told Steve “When you guys win, you get to keep your money. When we win, we take your money.” This was Thao’s explanation as to how the DFL plans on paying for all the spending increases they promised their special interest friends.
The DFL still has the same mindset today as they did in March, 2007.
Bit by bit, I started doing original reporting thanks in large part to frustrated state legislators who were being ignored by the Star Tribune and the St. Cloud Times. In 2008, I started covering the candidate forums. They were quite memorable. I still remember Rob Jacobs telling 2 major groups that he wasn’t an expert on their issues (transportation that Monday, health care the next day) but that he was a good listener. Despite telling everyone covering the events that he was totally unqualified for the job, the St. Cloud Times endorsed him over Rep. Dan Severson. The good news from that fiasco was that the Times had egg on their face when Rep. Severson beat Jacobs by 10 points.
The last 3 years, I’ve spent lots of time being the taxpayers’ watchdog. I’ve scooped the Times so many times that I’ve lost track of how many times it’s happened. Hopefully, I’ll be around when the mismanagement comes to an end. Hopefully, it’ll happen soon.
If you appreciate the reporting I’ve done, feel free to drop a few coins in the tip jar. Thanks for being incredibly loyal followers to LFR.
Al Franken’s fundraising letters focus on the Democrats’ favorite boogeymen, the Koch brothers. Here’s the latest example of Franken’s paranoia:
The Kochs just announced they’re going to spend $125 million between now and Election Day — and I need your help to fight back. A group with ties to the Kochs has already come after me once this year, and it’s only a matter of time before the next smear.
Will you make an immediate $10 contribution right now to help us reach our $200,000 goal and prepare for the Koch brothers’ attacks? It’s not like these guys don’t have the cash. Remember, in 2012, they spent $400 million on elections.
First, it’s dishonest for Sen. Franken to say that Charles and David Koch spent $400,000,000 on elections during the last cycle. Then too, Sen. Franken isn’t honest. Here’s what Andy Barr, the director of Franken’s PAC, said during the 2008 campaign:
“It’s deeply unfortunate, kind of pathetic, and completely unsurprising that Senator Norm Coleman and his Republican allies are already dragging out decades-old quotes and taking them out of context to suggest that Al is a homophobe and a crack addict.”
Unfortunately for Barr, there’s a witness who testified against Franken:
“People used to ask me about this and I’d always say, ‘No, there was no coke. It’s impossible to do the kind of show we were doing and do drugs.’ And so that was just a funny lie that I liked to tell. Kind of the opposite was true, unfortunately – for some people, it was impossible to do the show without the drugs. Comedians and comedy writers and people in show business in general aren’t the most disciplined people, so the idea of putting the writing off until you had to, and then staying up all night, was an attractive one. And then having this drug that kept you awake in an enjoyable way was kind of tempting too. But I only did cocaine to stay awake to make sure nobody else did too much cocaine. That was the only reason I ever did it. Heh-heh.”
There’s no denying that Sen. Franken admitted he used cocaine in a book before denying he used cocaine when asked on the campaign trail.
Likewise, there’s no denying the fact that Sen. Franken is lying about how much money Charles and David Koch spent on elections in 2012.
Al Franken has changed throughout the years. As a comedian, he was a coke addict. As a politician, he’s still addicted to Koch. What hasn’t changed is that he’s still running from the truth.
Avik Roy’s article doesn’t just highlight the fact that PolitiFact isn’t the gold standard in fact-checking, though it certainly does that. This paragraph highlights the most important thing we need to know about Politifact:
On October 9, 2008, Angie Drobnic Holan of PolitiFact published an article using the site’s “Truth-O-Meter” to evaluate this claim: “Under Barack Obama’s health care proposal, ‘if you’ve got a health care plan that you like, you can keep it.’” The article assures us in its headline that “Obama’s plan expands [the] existing system,” and continues that “Obama is accurately describing his health care plan here…It remains to be seen whether Obama’s plan will actually be able to achieve the cost savings it promises for the health care system. But people who want to keep their current insurance should be able to do that under Obama’s plan. His description of his plan is accurate, and we rate his statement True.”
Thanks to Roy’s article, what we can definitively determine is that PolitiFact rates speculation as fact or fiction. It isn’t possible to determine whether then-candidate Obama’s statement was true because the legislation hadn’t been written at that point. Without reading the legislation’s language, it’s impossible to tell whether Obama’s promise was true or false.
That’s quite damning to PolitiFact’s reputation. The statements reviewed by FactCheck.org, by contrast, either note that something is speculative or they’re commenting on promises made by political candidates.
Simply put, PolitiFact is more about playing political favorites than it’s about fact-checking politicians’ statements. That’s why I’ve never taken their statements that seriously. Admittedly, they got President Obama’s lie of the year right. Unfortunately, they didn’t get it right until 5 years after they rated that statement as true. That’s a pretty pathetic record.
TakeAction Minnesota, one of the organizations that opposed the proposed Photo ID constitutional amendment, authorized this report to be published. Here’s a key statistic from the report:
According to recent testimony by the secretary of state’s office, the proposed photo ID amendment could adversely affect more than 700,000 eligible Minnesota voters. This total includes 215,000 registered voters who do not have a Minnesota driver’s license or ID card with a current address on it, and another 500,000 eligible voters who use Election Day registration.
Prior to this article, people have generally accepted the importance of Election Day registration, aka EDR. That’s changing thanks to this information:
Ramsey County 278,821 votes; 279,513 registered voters, 99.75%VPR
Hennepin County: 674,149 votes, 678,074 RVs, 99.4% VPR
Anoka County: 186,461 votes, 195,424 RVs, 95.4% VPR
Benton County: 19,755 votes, 21,051 RVs, 93.8% VPR
Carlton County: 18,545 votes, 19,929 RVs, 93.1% VPR
Carver County: 52,899 votes, 55,366 RVs, 95.5% VPR
Dakota County: 230,992 votes, 240,100 RVs, 96.2% VPR
Morrison County: 16,836 votes, 17,998 RVs, 93.5% VPR
St. Louis County: 115,921 votes, 122,755 RVs, 94.4% VPR
Sherburne County: 46,707 votes, 48,691 RVs, 95.9% VPR
Wright County: 69,861 votes, 70,572 RVs, 99.0% VPR
Washington County: 142,133 votes, 151,803 RVs, 93.6% VPR
Registered Voters at 7AM: 3,085,277, Voting Eligible Population: 3,876,752
In addition to the astonishing participation rates, notice that 3,085,277 people were registered voters in 2012.
Let’s compare those figures with 2008’s participation figures and registered voter numbers:
Ramsey County 278,169 votes; 317,028 RVs, 87.7%
Hennepin County: 665,485 votes, 722,777 RVs, 92.1% VPR
Anoka County: 182,559 votes, 189,349 RVs, 96.4% VPR
Benton County: 19,429 votes, 21,438 RVs, 90.6% VPR
Carlton County: 18,530 votes, 19,942 RVs, 92.9% VPR
Carver County: 49,806 votes, 53,059 RVs, 93.9% VPR
Dakota County: 225,933 votes, 241,276 RVs, 96.2% VPR
Morrison County: 16,850 votes, 18,979 RVs, 93.6% VPR
St. Louis County: 119,435 votes, 134,550 RVs 88.8% VPR
Sherburne County: 45,121 votes, 47,397 RVs, 95.2% VPR
Wright County: 65,479 votes, 67,959 RVs 96.4% VPR
Washington County: 137,323 votes, 147,347 RVs, 93.2% VPR
Registered Voters as of 7AM 11-04-08: 3,199,981
In 2012, there were 1,544,914 registered voters in Ramsey, Hennepin, Anoka, Dakota and Washington counties. According to the Secretary of State’s website, 1,512,556 people voted in those counties. That’s a participation rate of 97.9%.
Let’s compare those statistics with 2008 for those same counties. There were 1,617,777 registered voters in 2008, with 1,489,469 people voting in those counties. That’s a participation rate of 92.1%.
That isn’t the astonishing part, though. In 2008, there were 3,199,981 registered voters in Minnesota, compared with 3,085,277 registered voters in 2012.
If 500,000 people use EDR each presidential election in Minnesota, why were there 114,704 more registered voters in Minnesota in 2008 than in 2008?
That isn’t even the most astonishing statistic, though. Even though there were 114,704 fewer registered voters in Minnesota in 2012 than in 2008, 21,707 more votes were cast in 2012 than in 2008.
In 2008, the participation rate was 90.9%. In 2012, the participation rate was 95.03%, an increase of 4 points from a wave election.
With all due respect, it’s impossible to believe that the voter participation rate was 4 points higher this year than in a wave election. It’s impossible to believe that 500,000 people used EDR in 2008 and another 500,000 people in 2010 but there were 114,704 fewer registered voters in 2012 than in 2008.
Finally, where did those 1,000,000 registered voters disappear to? It isn’t a stretch to think that a significant portion of those voters who used EDR weren’t eligible to vote.
Without Photo ID, though, it’s almost impossible to tell.
Dan McLaughlin’s post summarizes in statistical form why Mitt is likely to be the next president of the United States. These paragraphs sum things up nicely:
Everything in the latest polls suggests doom for Obama with independents. This morning’s Washington Post poll has him down 20 with independents, 58-38. The Rasmussen national tracker has him down 17 today. Today’s IBD/TIPP poll has him down 10, 48-38. SurveyUSA/Monmouth has him trailing by 19, 52-33. The outlier, SEIU/DailyKos pollster PPP, had Romney up 2 yesterday with independents, 47-45, after the PPP tracker showed him up 10, 51-41, three days earlier. In this morning’s swing state poll, Rasmussen shows Romney leading Obama by 11 with independents.
In Ohio, ARG has Obama down 20 with independents, 57-37, SurveyUSA has him down 8, 47-39; TIME has him down 15, 53-38; PPP has him down 7, 49-42; CBS/Quinnipiac has him down 7, 49-42; Gravis has him down 19, 52-33.
This explains why media organizations (notice that I didn’t call them news organizations) have vastly oversampled Democrats in their attempt to make it look like President Obama is leading. If these media organizations used statistically accurate registration models, their polls wouldn’t have shown President Obama leading nationally.
Most private polling companies figure Ohio as a D+2 state at most. Many of the media organizations’ polls are D+7-8 models. That rivals the PVI of 2008. Serious people know that President Obama doesn’t enjoy that type of PVI rating this year. It isn’t even close.
To make sense of the various polls, I’ve started looking beneath the horserace numbers. Based on Mr. McLaughlin’s methodology, it looks like I was right. What I’ve done is start looking at polls via a votes per 100 voters model. That’s what I did with this post.
Chip’s district is a D+2 or D+3 district. The KSTP-SurveyUSA poll is based on a D+7 model. Chip gets 89% of Republicans, 6% of DFLers and 53% of independents.
The proper weighting of the district is 35% DFL, 34% GOP, 31% independent. That means Chip gets 30.2 votes from Republicans, 2.1 votes from DFL voters and 16.5 votes from independents for every 100 voters. That’s 48.8 votes per hundred for Chip.
Adapting that methodology to Ohio, that means Republicans and Democrats (more or less) cancel each other out. That means independents will determine the winner. With Mitt winning independents by double-digit margins, there’s no reason to think he won’t win Ohio. President Obama certainly won’t have the type of turnout that he had in 2008 so he won’t be able to offset Mitt’s advantage with independents.
Here’s Mr. McLaughlin’s analysis of the race:
The waterfront of analyzing all the factors that go into my conclusion here is too large to cover in one post, but the signs of Obama’s defeat are too clear now to ignore. Given all the available information, Romney’s lead among independents, the outlier nature of the 2008 turnout model, the elections held since 2008, the party ID surveys, the voter registration, early voting and absentee ballot data, I have to conclude that there is no remaining path at this late date for Obama to win the national popular vote. He is toast.
The same things that are artificially propping up President Obama nationwide are artificially propping President Obama up in Ohio. President Obama’s message sounds more like the rantings of a spoiled brat throwing a temper tantrum than the words of the President of the United States.
Yesterday’s ruling by the Minnesota Supreme Court is a major step in the right direction to restoring election integrity in Minnesota. Unfortunately, it’s the first step. Unfortunately, it isn’t the silver bullet solution.
Glenn Reynolds’ op-ed highlights what’s needed for a truly world class election system:
An ideal voting system would:
- Make it easy for voters to register.
- Positively ensure that voters were who they said they were.
- Make certain that no one could vote more than once.
- And guarantee that votes properly cast would be properly recorded, while making the recording of fraudulent votes impossible.
Unfortunately, no such system exists, and the ones we have are far from the best available.Reynolds then highlighted another problem that needs addressing:
In Minnesota’s 2008 disputed US Senate election, won by Al Franken, who proceeded to cast the deciding vote in favor of ObamaCare, the margin of victory was 312, but it turned out that 1,099 votes were cast by felons who were ineligible to vote. Many of them have gone to jail, but Franken has remained in the Senate.
Secretary Ritchie’s office failed Minnesotans because they didn’t enforce key provisions in HAVA. Specifically, Ritchie’s office didn’t meet HAVA’s requirements:
The Help America Vote Act also lists strict standards for each state in maintaining its Statewide Voter Registration System (SVRS). HAVA mandates that each elections official at the State and local level MUST perform list maintenance on their SVRS with respect to the computerized list on a regular basis as HAVA mandates when a state does SVRS list maintenance that if an individual is to be removed from the SVRS from their respective state, that this maintenance must be done in the compliance of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 1973gg et seq.) which lists what is legal and illegal for reasons for a state to legally purge their voting rolls what is illegal to remove voters from the SVRS.
When a state removes a ineligible voter from the official list of eligible voters states mandated as follows that: Under the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 that each respective state’s election authority must coordinate with their Department of Corrections the computerized list with State agency records on felony status of convicted felons if they are eligible to vote under each state’s voting laws of allowing convicted felons to vote under probation/parole or released from prison If a registered voter dies that the registered voter under the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 each state’s election authority MUST coordinate with the respective agency handling birth and death statistics (i.e. Department of Health and Human Services) in removing these voters as soon as possible from the voting rolls when the death is reported. Also, the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) puts in strict requirements and oversight to make sure that each state is following their own laws on enforcement of maintenance of their respective Statewide Voter Registration System (SVRS).
In other words, HAVA requires timely updating of the SVRS to prevent ineligible felons and dead people from voting. The fact that Ritchie didn’t enforce this key provision in HAVA indicates his disinterest in enforcing election laws. It doesn’t appear as though county workers are that interested in preventing voter fraud either:
The county workers’ attitude is pretty arrogant:
INVESTIGATOR: In theory, I could just, you know, say I have some illness or disability and just be at home and there’s no way that the state would know otherwise. WORKER: You are signing a statement, a form, that the information you’re providing is true and correct. INVESTIGATOR: So that’s it? It’s just kind of the honor system? WORKER: Yes, I guess, it’s, I mean, it’s been that way for many, many years, that, you know, Minnesota’s been an after-the-fact type of state. And, now, we do catch people, that do things, and they’re investigated and charged. But it is, you know, after-the-fact. My election judges have a difficult time with that. It’s like “Change the law. Change the law.”
These county workers admitted that voting fraud happens but that the fraudulent votes get counted.
There’s a national movement to restore election integrity, a tide that the Democratic Party is fighting against. It’s time that that tide swept these
Corruptocrats Democrats out of office. Photo ID will clean up most of this voter fraud.
Still, a white hot spotlight should be shined on
Corruptocrats Democrats like Ritchie. If he won’t enforce Minnesota’s election laws, then he must be thrown out of office, whether that’s through impeachment or whether it’s through defeating him in November, 2014.
One of the DFL’s chanting points on Photo ID is that Minnesota has a great election system because voter participation is traditionally among the highest in the nation. They then, incorrectly, attribute that to Minnesota’s voting laws.
I’d argue Minnesota’s voter participation rates are high because Minnesotans are that interested in politics, not because of the laws.
That’s a fight that won’t get settled today. There is something that should be settled ASAP. Should election laws make it easy as defined by the DFL’s rules?
I’d argue that they shouldn’t be. For example, the DFL insists on same day registration and vouching be part of Minnesota’s election laws. There’s proof that both practices make it easy for people to commit voter fraud.
I’ve written repeatedly about the voter fraud plan that ACT put together for the 2004 presidential election. I’ve written about the 10 to 13 mysterious laundromat-dwellers in Smalltown, MN who voted in 2008.
These incidents are proof that voter fraud exists as a direct result of laws that the DFL insist must be part of Minnesota’s election laws. I’d argue that Minnesota’s election laws be straightforward but that they should prevent the voter fraud that’s currently happening.
Minnesota’s election laws should make it relatively easy for legal voters to vote but that prevent voter fraud from cancelling out legally cast votes. Minnesota’s election laws don’t prevent voter fraud. Minnesota’s election laws make it easy to commit voter fraud.
When election judge Rick Smithson testified in front of the House Local Government and Elections Committee, he said that “between 10 and 13 people” a) insisted on using same day registration and b) insisted that they lived at the local laundromat.
That’s what voter fraud looks like. You don’t need a Photo ID to know that these people are committing voter fraud. Unfortunately, Minnesota’s laws don’t allow competent election judges from preventing voter fraud. That’s because Minnesota is an after-the-fact state.
Photo ID, however, would prevent those laundromat-dwellers from casting a regular ballot, then being prosecuted later after their illegal votes decided a close local election.
The election laws that the DFL insists on are safeguard-free. They’re all about making voting as easy as possible. The DFL insists that voter fraud isn’t happening even though there’s tons of evidence that it’s happening. (If you don’t believe it’s happening, ask Janet Beihoffer about “vapor voters” sometime. After listening to Janet’s lengthy list of facts, honest people will agree voter fraud is happening in Minnesota.)
It’s my opinion that there needs to be a balance between straightforward voting laws and safeguarding against voting fraud. The DFL’s laws tilt only towards making it easy to vote, even if it means making voter fraud easy to commit.
That’s bad policy, which is why Photo ID will pass overwhelmingly when it’s put to the voters.
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.
Tags: Citizens for Election Integrity in Minnesota, League of Rural Voters, Cynthia Moothart, Voter Fraud, Mark Ritchie, Carol Lewis, Voter Impersonation, League of Women Voters Minnesota, Common Cause MN, DMV, Photo ID, Election 2008