After reading Tom Emmer’s op-ed, it’s painfully obvious that the DFL won’t let this bill pass because it contains utterly too much common sense to be worthy of consideration. If legislation doesn’t the requisite amount of obfuscation. a bill can’t be considered. Only if legislation lacks a sufficient amount of clarity can it be considered.

Here’s what Rep. Emmer said in arguing for requiring Photo ID:

Photo identification requirements are designed to do one thing: prevent fraud in our elections. Unfortunately, the occurrence of fraud in our voting system is all too prevalent. The Carter-Baker Commission on Federal Election Reform (chaired by former President Jimmy Carter and former Secretary of State James Baker) made such a determination when it released its report in 2005. The report cited numerous examples from other states that demonstrate how fraud has played a role in recent U.S. elections. One such case in East Chicago, Ind., resulted in the Indiana Supreme Court invalidating a mayoral primary based on evidence of rampant absentee ballot fraud that included the use of a vacant lot as an address for nonresident voters.

But critics of requiring photo ID at the polls argue that it somehow violates the First and 14th amendments to the Constitution because it imposes an unwarranted burden on a person’s right to vote. Opponents claim it’s a burden that would fall disproportionately on minorities and other groups that tend to vote in lower numbers. I’m not sure how carrying a (free, if need be) state-issued photo ID card imposes a burden on American citizens, but if someone has an explanation, I’m willing to listen.

A 2007 study by the Institute for Public Policy at the University of Missouri found that when a photo ID requirement was instituted before that state’s 2006 elections, not only did voter turnout increase by two percentage points compared with a similar off-year election in 2002, but that there was “no consistent evidence” that counties with higher percentages of minorities, poor, elderly or less-educated population suffered “any reduction in voter turnout relative to other counties.” To me, an increase in voter turnout and no undue burden on voters seems to be a goal that everyone, regardless of political ideology or party affiliation, should be willing to support.

Former St. Cloud Mayor John Ellenbecker always asks for proof of voter fraud to justify the ‘imposition’ of Photo ID. I’d suggest that “invalidating a mayoral primary based on evidence of rampant absentee ballot fraud that included the use of a vacant lot as an address for nonresident voters” should be sufficient proof that we need photo ID.

Some critics of Rep. Emmer’s legislation say that it’s a divisive issue. The DFL insists that it’s an artificial issue:

“I think it’s a solution in search of a problem,” said Sen. Ann Rest, DFL-New Hope.

The DFL also contends that it disenfranchises voters:

Democrats have argued for years that thousands of Minnesotans lack government-issued photo IDs, and such a law would disenfranchise the people least likely to have drivers’ licenses: the poor, the disabled and the elderly. Those people also are more likely to vote for Democrats.

Rep. Emmer’s op-ed cites studies that refute the notion that requiring Photo IDs disenfranchises voters. In fact, his study suggests the opposite.

I’ve got a question for Sen. Rest, Mark Ritchie and Keith Ellison. Does this trio think that Minnesota is doing its best in guaranteeing the integrity of its elections? If they think that, can they explain why they think that? I’m betting that they’ll dodge the first question by saying that voter fraud, if it happens, is minimal at best.

My counter to that is that 225 votes seperate Sen. Coleman and Al Franken out of almost 3 million votes cast. I’d highlight that, in 2006, Paul Gardner defeated Phil Krinkie by 50 votes, that Jeremy Kalin defeated Pete Nelson by 204 votes, that David Bly defeated Ray Cox by 60 votes, that Kim Norton defeated Rich Decker by 99 votes and that Ken Tschumper defeated Greg Davids by 52 votes.

In other words, a little voter fraud potentially might yield big results.

That alone should be reason enough to warrant doing everything possible to prevent voter fraud. Unfortunately, that makes too much sense for the DFL to consider it.

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4 Responses to “There’s Too Much Common Sense For The DFL to Let This Pass”

  • Tony says:

    Something smells fishy. It’s sad that there are times that legal processes turn out to be a joke – an unfunny one unfortunately.

  • eric z says:

    Taking as correct your premise, it won’t pass and is DOA, why discuss it? Mary K. no longer is SoS, in part over this non-inclusive thought.

  • walter hanson says:

    Eric:

    I thought that the governor was going to line item the whole Secretary of State office unless he got it. So it’s coming.

    By the way what’s wrong with making people prove who they are? Are you not really EricZ? do you vote in more than one location?

    Walter Hanson
    Minneapolis, MN

  • Gary Gross says:

    I predict that this bill will become law.

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