Secretary of State Ritchie’s website includes a page titled Elections and Voting. Here are a few things posted on the Elections and Voting page:
- Am I registered to vote?
- Where do I vote?
- Registering to Vote
- Check on your Absentee Ballot
There was something different on Secretary of State Ritchie’s website this visit. At the bottom of the “Voter Information” box was a link titled “OSS Estimates of Registered Voters Lacking Valid or Current ID.”
The link opens to a spreadsheet estimating the number of registered voters lacking “valid or current ID.” The grand total at the bottom of the page is 215,389. Not coincidentally, that’s the figure DFL legislators and outside propagandist organizations have cited throughout this debate.
What’s troubling is that this report doesn’t explain where the Secretary of State’s office got this information from. It doesn’t say who collected the data. It doesn’t say what methodology they used in estimating these figures. The figures in this report aren’t footnoted.
There’s nothing on the spreadsheet that says a major university or other major organization conducted the study. Since the figures aren’t footnoted and the study isn’t accredited to a major university, media outlet or other organization, these numbers might be totally manufactured.
In fact, there’s no way of verifying whether these totals are anything more than propaganda thrown together to scare people into not supporting Photo ID. What’s known about this spreadsheet is that a university didn’t put it together. We know that because a university study would be footnoted. There’d be a note at the bottom of the page stating that ‘this study was conducted by University X.’
Frankly, putting this propaganda on the SoS’s Elections and Voting website at a time when the Photo ID legislation is in conference committee seems like campaigning, not informing. It isn’t informing since the information isn’t verifiable.
This is an electronic anti-Photo ID protest at the Capitol. Instead of the LWV-MN, Common Cause MN or TakeAction Minnesota leading the protest in the Capitol rotunda or Capitol hallways, it’s Secretary of State Ritchie leading a partisan campaign rally on his website.
It’s a partisan campaign rally because Secretary Ritchie didn’t mention in his ‘report’ that each of those mythical 215,389 registered voters would be able to get either a drivers license or a state-issued Photo ID.
If Secretary Ritchie wanted to be nonpartisan and informative, he would’ve noted that the state of Minnesota would do everything possible to make Photo ID available to every eligible voter in the state.
That didn’t happen. Instead, Secretary Ritchie threw together a bunch of statistics that weren’t footnoted or verified. That isn’t a study. It’s pure propaganda.