Voter ID is only way to restore integrity to electionsPublished 11:29am Tuesday, September 18, 2012
Once again I must disagree with the “Our Opinion” editorial (Daily Herald, Sunday, Sept. 16). The real issues that I have with the editorial is the sentence that states voter fraud has never been a big problem in this state. Having been an election judge in Austin, I firmly believe that voter fraud is not a large issue in Austin. We need to look at the state for a true picture.
Minnesota’s lax election system, lacking a definite identification requirement to register or to vote, provides a window for fraudulent voting by use of false identities and/or addresses. Upon registration to vote, a non-forwardable Postal Verification Card is mailed to the address. This includes same-day registrations. In the 2008 election there were over 11,000 same-day registrations. The PVCs were mailed shortly after the election. All of these votes were counted as valid votes in the election. I am sure several had mistakes in the address or confusion of names, however 6,224 were returned as “address unknown” or “person unknown.” The addresses included McDonalds, county courthouses and many vacant lots. Undeliverable postal verification cards returned might be a strong indicator of this variety of fraudulent voting activity.
In 2010, because it was not a presidential election and the attention brought to the issue, only 1,244 were returned. These numbers are frightening. In 2008, Minnesota’s U.S. Senate race was decided by just 312 votes and a state representative was elected by just 13 votes in 2010. There were many other questionable issues about the senate election.
If someone who is ineligible to vote, or votes more than once, or votes for a dead person, or creates two identifications (as a member of the secretary of state’s staff allegedly did) and votes with both, these ineligible votes have disenfranchised an eligible voter; in effect, they have stolen someone else’s vote.
I do agree that there will be some cost; that said, there is a legislative process that will determine those costs. Only after the amendment is passed can any legislation be considered. This will be subject to legislative hearings, public hearings and approval of both legislative bodies. Then the governor must sign or veto the bill. There will be a cost but I am sure that the cost will be reasonable because both sides of the issues will be fighting for a fair election. Let us pull together and bring integrity back to our election process.
There are many other areas that need to be publicly discussed and the electorate must be informed about the integrity this amendment will bring to the election process.