How the Voter ID amendment could change voting in this state [UPDATED]

In the thread on Ernie Leidiger’s ill-tempered appearance at a League of Women Voters Voter ID event, we’ve heard a lot of spin from an amendment supporter about what would be required should the amendment passes.  Let’s unpack what’s really at stake here.

Here’s the text of the amendment:

This amendment would result in four key changes to the existing process.  Let’s walk through each of them, and explain where it’s possible that citizens may be disenfranchised.

1.  “All voters voting in person must present valid government-issued photographic identification before receiving a ballot.”

The amendment itself does not indicate what qualifies as “valid government-issued photographic identification”.  If the amendment passes, that will be determined by enabling legislation that will need to be passed before the November 2013 municipal and school elections.

The Republican legislative majorities attempted to pass such a bill (S.F. 509) in the last session, vetoed by Governor Mark Dayton.  How did they define “valid government-issued photographic identification”?  Well, they only permitted the following forms of identification:  a drivers license, a state identification card, a newly created “voter identification card”, or a tribal identification card.  Residents of nursing homes without a form of ID listed above with their current address could use that expired ID plus a certified form from the nursing home’s administrator.  What’s notable here?  Student IDs are out and federally issued passports and military IDs aren’t good enough.

2. “The state must issue photographic identification at no charge to an eligible voter who does not have a form of identification meeting the requirements of this section.”

This sounds good at first blush.  Who’s opposed to “free IDs”, right?  But it ignores the fact that you need to provide supplementary documents to get the “free” voter ID card from the state.  (And it’s not really “free”, after all, as the cost is being born by all of us as taxpayers.)  The costs and the hassle of acquiring these supplementary documents can be a real impediment.  For instance, a woman may have to provide a birth and a marriage certificate — total cost, if both are Minnesota documents, of $35.  Plus, that woman is going to have to take time out during the business day to acquire those documents.

The other point here is that the amendment and S.F. 509 are essentially silent on how folks who have difficulty moving about (like the elderly or disabled) are going to acquire these IDs.  The Carter-Baker Report, which local conservatives have grown fond of citing, calls for robust efforts by states (including mobile teams that actively go out to these populations to issue IDs) to ensure everyone gets what they need to maintain their right to vote.  Yet, their bill doesn’t call for any of that.  One wonders if they’ve really read the report or just glommed on to the “Jimmy Carter likes Voter ID” talking point.

3. “A voter unable to present government-issued photographic  identification must be permitted to submit a provisional ballot. A provisional ballot must only be counted if the voter certifies the provisional ballot in the manner provided by law… All voters, including those not voting in person must be subject to substantially equivalent identity and eligibility verification prior to a ballot being cast or counted.”

If you show up at the polls and forget your ID, your vote won’t be counted right away.  Per S.F. 509, you will instead cast a “provisional ballot”.  Under a provisional ballot scenario, your vote will not be counted unless — within seven calendar days of the election — you appear before the county auditor or municipal clerk with an appropriate form of ID.

The “substantially equivalent identity and eligibility verification” clause is where things get hairy.  S.F. 509 does allow for provisional ballots to be counted under certain circumstances without one of the four forms of ID noted above.  Passports and military IDs with a current address listed are sufficient under this provision, as are student IDs if accompanied by the appropriate documentation from the college or university.  This, of course, begs the question of why they just can’t be accepted at the polls on Election Day instead of making the voter make a second trip to fully cast their ballot.

4. Potential impacts on same-day voter registration and absentee balloting

The amendment makes no call out for same-day voter registration or absentee balloting, so the details for each of these provisions will be subject to the enabling legislation.  These ballots are subject to the same regulations as in-person ballots.  S.F. 509 indicates that same-day registrations will be subject to the same criteria as provisional ballots, so people attempting to register will either have to provide a drivers license, state ID card, voter ID card, tribal ID card, passport, military ID, or student ID with appropriate supporting documentation.  This eliminates the ability to use utility bills and apartment leases as proof of residence as well as eliminating the option to have another voter in your precinct vouch for your eligibility.

Meanwhile, S.F. 509 indicates that absentee voters will have to provide either their drivers license, state ID or voter ID number plus their Social Security Number in order to be approved for an absentee ballot.  Today, those ID numbers are not required — verification of an absentee ballot request can be made by verifying name, address, and date of birth against the voter registration system.

What’s this all going to fix again, anyway?

A quick review of the numbers is in order.  Since 2008, there have been about 150 convictions for illegal voting in Minnesota.  That’s less than 0.01% of all votes cast in that time.  Practically all of these convictions have been felons voting before their rights have been restored.   Both the amendment and S.F. 509 are silent on this issue.  As one’s criminal record status is not any of the valid ID cards, passing this amendment would do nothing to address these problems.

Another frequent problem cited are the postal verification cards (PVCs).   PVCs are generated by same-day voter registrations.  After the election, non-forwardable cards are sent to those voters to confirm their registration.  Those that are undeliverable (most for valid reasons, such as the voter moving) are returned for further investigation by county auditors.  If the auditors, upon further research, are unable to explain why the cards were undeliverable, they are required by law to turn them over to their county attorney for potential prosecution.  In 2010, this process resulted in 399 voters (0.019%) being turned over to prosecutors — and based on the number of convictions reported above, many of those voters were ultimately not proven to have voted illegally.

Meanwhile, the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office estimates that as many as 215,000 registered voters don’t have ID that would qualify under the requirements of the amendment and proposed enabling legislation.  That’s over 10% of the number of voters in 2010, over 7% of the voters in 2008.

We should not risk disenfranchising tens of thousands of citizens to prevent fraud that is almost non-existent.

[UPDATE]:  Secretary of State Mark Ritchie believes the changes to same-day registration and absentee balloting may be more severe than what I have posted here.


234 Responses to “How the Voter ID amendment could change voting in this state [UPDATED]”

  1. Again, we see that complete false assumptions made again on the left, regarding this amendment.

    First and foremost is that a small fraction of fraudulent votes apparently do not matter. While they left is FINALLY willing to admit there is a problem. They love the dodge about felons voting being the only fraud they can proove. But ask yourself this simple question. If someone registers on election day, fraudulently, with no identification, what so ever, and then it turns out this person cannot be found with postal verification, WHO IN THE HECK DO YOU ARREST?

    I’ll tell you what, let’s address these by the numbered bullet points you gave as to where you are dead wrong.

    • jacque in minneapolis Reply September 29, 2012 at 8:09 pm

      how about this one – your drivers license does NOT indicate your eligibility to vote – so how is that more secure. Felons have driver licenses as to people with green cards and people here on lenthly visa – isn’t this the group you are worried about voting?

  2. But before we get into a point by point dismal of your nonsense, lets start by taking note there are extensive rules and regulations which already exist with the MN statutes which govern the election process. And most notable about this amendment, is that it’s already been before the MN Supreme Court, and the LWV objections were denied. If, and it’s a pretty big if, this amendment is detrimental to women, as is brought up in point 2 above, then why didn’t the court strike it down?

    • The Supreme Court ruled on the wording of the amendment and the title of the amendment. There can’t be a challenge of the content of regulations until both the amendment passes and the enabling legislation passes.

      • Which gets to the point, that you can only assume their will be disenfranchisement of voters by the photo ID requirement, conveniently ignoring the “susbtantial equivalent” language with in the amendment, and all other portions of the amendment, as to who will be allowed to vote.

        • I discussed the “substantial equivalent” language extensively in points 3 and 4 of the post, John. As the amendment doesn’t define “substantial equivalent”, I went to the Kiffmeyer/Limmer bill to see how they defined it.

          What I don’t get is why the “substantial equivalent” is OK if you bring it to the county 3 days later but not good enough at the polls on election day? That seems to me to be making it intentionally harder for people to vote.

          • Don’t worry, well get to that…

          • Ah the heck with it. Let’s do it now.

            What is available to the election judges at the polls? If you said a registration log, with names and addresses of registered voters, you would be correct. A quick check of the ID, and we’ve now verified that the person is the person who is registered, and we vote. Simple as pie. No fraud available there, except perhaps the felony problem, which would be nice if a felon couldn’t appear on the list, but I digress.

            Now we come to the guy who isn’t registered. Did you know that in many states, if you have registered, tough hop, you don’t get to vote.

            SO we have to get some info for this guy, and I’ve been there. I didn’t register when I’ve moved in the past. Same day is fine, or I guess technically, ours is election day registering, (I guess there’s a difference), and it allows for more participation, WHICH NO ONE IS AGAINST, by the way. But now the fraud door opens more than a crack, and this line is slower than heck, remember, I’ve been in it. (Of course I was a stupid Democrat at the time, but what can you do).

            How do we prevent fraud here, and make this registration more efficient? Why we use a picture ID!!! It has an address and everything. How convenient! The address will go through and bingo, we ahve a valid voter making valid votes!! God Bless America!!

            Wait. Here comes a guy, and he doesn’t live in our precinct according to his ID. He just moved here and didn’t get it fixed yet. We take his proof and he gets to vote and we know it’s valid. Woo Hoo!

            But now here’s comes a guy with no ID, didn’t register, has no current verifiable proof that is A who he says he is, and B that he lives where he says he lives. Buzzers, and alarms? Nope, he gets a provisional ballot, gets to vote, and people go to work to get him identified. Of course this guy is really screwing up the works right now, and costing us time and effort, when he should have just registered to begin with, and maybe taken the one year notice, and went and got his ID. But since he doesn’t have one with him, we can process him like we would process an absentee ballot, over the next few days, verifying that he is who he claims to be, and lives in this precinct! Yay! Everyone is happy. there’s really no fraud possible now, because we can check to see if he is a felon while we check the other information!! Wow! Provisonal ballots really do work TO ELIMINATE EVEN THE FRAUD THAT YOU DO RECOGNIZE! imagine that!!

            And that’s why this amendment will pass and why nearly everyone supports it. It simply makes fraud much more difficult to acheive. And then ends the disenfranchisement that comes from voter fraud.

    • An example of why it was struck down can be seen in the original language:

      The following persons shall not be entitled or permitted to vote at any election in this state: A person not meeting the above requirements; a person who has been convicted of treason or felony, unless restored tocivil rights; a person under guardianship, or a person who is insane or not mentallycompetent.(b) All voters voting in person must present.

      While this language doesn’t layout what guardianship is, this is laid out in the statues, and is clarified.

      The court declared that the lanuage in the amendment is not so unreasonable and misleading as to be a palpable evasion of the constitutional requirement in Minn. Const. art. IX, § 1, that constitutional amendments shall be submitted to a popular vote.

      For most people, showing an ID to vote makes perfect sense, and the court backs that decision.

      It’s after this, the next step, in the liberal argument, that flushing out the details to meet the needs of this amendment that might result in disenfranchisement. Rather than give the amendment a chance to improve election integrity, the elft chooses to scare the heck out of people stating they will be left out of the process, without any evidence to support this claim.

  3. You could save everyone a lot of time, John, if you would just say what you and your fellow pathetic Republican hacks (to borrow a phrase) really want – for anyone who might vote Democratic to just not be able to vote. Don’t you find it curious that far right Republicans are the only ones pushing for these restrictive laws and amendments? You’ll find reasonable, traditional Republicans on the side of defeating them. What I will concede, is that you also have the vote of low information voters. Thanks to Sean and others for trying to inform. As I’ve told you before, if you are truly concerned about some of these election issues there are reasonable ways to change the process through bi-partisan legislation enacted by reasonable legislators that work together for the good of the state. Our Minnesota Constitution does not need fixing.

    • If it’s really only a few right wing hacks behind this amendment, I wonder why it’s so popular? I had no idea the state had shifted so far to the right? I know it’s shifted susbstantially, which is why we have acheeived so much in this state.

      And if the governor wouldn’t stand in the way of the will of everyone but the few far left wing, who are actually the only opponenets to this amendment, we wouldn’t be in this constitution state now would we.

      And Jennifer and Drew will be talking to you about dragging the debate down by calling me a hack. I certain of it. Wait for it…. wait for it…. . (I passed out waiting). 🙂

      • I assume since you are still posting that you were only unconscious for a few moments! 😉 don’t hold your breath like that!

        You’re right, I apologize for the hack reference – it really was only an attempt to tie in previous posts. Bad attempt at humor, I know.

        Now, I didn’t say “a few”. I pointed out that it’s far right Republicans and low information voters – and not just in Minnesota but across the country. Its easy for us (you and me and other political junkies) to forget that this isn’t even on the radar yet for tons of people who will vote in November. And, what sounds fine on the surface isn’t so fine when one examines the details.

        It comes down to risk. You are willing to risk denying a couple hundred thousand real voters their right for the opportunity to stop a few phantom voters that no one has been able to credibly prove exist. I’m not.

        I will go one step further and say that I firmly believe that, if for a moment you thought that the majority of those that could be denied their right to vote would be republican voters, you would be on the other side of this issue.

        • No, see that’s where we differ. I want the elction process to be fair and accurate. I see evidence of fraud and inefficiency of process, and every now and then, you have to shake up the procedures to stay ahead of fraud. We do it for many things, including ways to prevent fraud in money matters, on Wall Street, contracts, you name it. Cheaters find a way to cheat. Always do. And we do occassionally make it slightly more difficult for them to do so. Sometimes, that might inconvenience us a bit. I have to take my shoes off to fly. I’d rather not, but those are the rules. I used to be able to go to Mexico without a passport. Now I have one. It cost money, and was inconvenient, and I’m always worried about losing it on vacation, but those are the rules. Most people adapt to the rules just fine. Making up phony accussations about what this will and will not do serve no prupose. But there’s no question it will eliminate fraud. All of it, maybe not. But enough that Jimmy carter thought it was a worhty effort. Just sayin’.

      • I have never called you a hack, or said anything along the lines of a personal attack at your character, so please do not offer such a falsehood.

        However, I have blown most of your arguments out of the water. Being able to debate with someone and offer a concrete argument isn’t bullying, it’s the foundation of democracy. So please, no more false accusations (we’ve had enough of those already in your previous remarks, Mr. Brunette).

        • Well, perhaps if you could understand a remark, we might have something to talk about. I stated above that you and Jennifer would be upset with HER for calling ME a HACK. She apologized. I accept, although it’s not necessary, for her to apologize. I knew she was just playing around.

          You haven’t blown anything other than this amendment out of proportion. I know you like to compare apples and engine blocks when it comes to various states elections laws, and the fraud that Carter/Baker noted would be removed by a photo ID requirement.

          • Then why haven’t you been able to offer anything that addresses the flaws in your arguments? You dodge the tax increase, arguing that it’s minor and “future savings” that are unknown will pay for it. You avoid the issues with absentee voting, even when the exact language of the statute says it will be an issue. You ignore the hundreds of examples that show how this will disenfranchise other voters, while at the same time saying that this worked for other states (you can’t site other states as examples, and then say we should ignore them). And you ignore that most of the elements of the Carter/Baker report aren’t being implemented in this proposal, except for the one piece that actually restricts voting further. (And you have yet to respond to one of my comments without degrading or attacking someone in the process.)

            So I’d like to renew my call for that public debate. No more accusations of stupidity, illiteracy, or otherwise, and no “getting loud” to silence the other party.

            • Let me ask you this simple question. What does the term “substantial equivalent” mean to you? It seems that Mark Ritchie thinks it means “the exact same”. It does not. I don’t know that it’s possible to make this any clearer. YOU CANNOT USE PHOTO IDENTIFICATION FOR ABSENTEE. It is physically impossible. Did you think the Sec State would mail would have a live video feed inside the envelope?

              I’ve answered all of your ridiculous questions. All valid voters get to vote. Some vote ahead of time, via absentee, having been verified BEFORE THEY VOTE, just like they are today. At the polls, where we can have anyone claim to be someone they are not, we have you show an ID, BEFORE YOU VOTE.

              If you don’t have an ID, you can get one for free. that lasts for years and you have plenty of time to do so. If you don’t have one on election day, you can vote, but you will be verified BEFORE WE COUNT YOUR VOTE. At that time, the Sec State has several databases in which they can use to verify your identity.

              That’s it. Felons can be identified BEFORE THEIR VOTE is counted. Cheaters are stopped BEFORE THEIR VOTE IS COUNTED. It’s really that simple.

              Bedridden folks vote absentee AND ARE VERIFIED BEFORE THEY EVEN GET A BALLOT. Just like they do today.

              Carter/Baker makes these recommendations because of what? VOTER FRAUD!! They recommend a photo ID. that’s all the amendment does. DO they recommend other things? Sure they do. Should all of them be included in the amendment? Nope. They are broad brush strokes which do not all fit perfectly from state to state. Carter/Baker would cost a lot of money, (shocking), and not all of the recommendations are feasible. That doesn’t change what photo ID is designed to repair, does it? Of course not.

              I may see you at voter ID rally from either side, but I’m not a spokesman for the law. I’m not an elected representative, so the opinions I represent are only based upon common sense, and the language of the amendment. As Sean has pointed out, new regulations will be written to implement this change. He mistakenly uses SF 509 as a reference point, assuming that a bill that couldn’t pass yesterday, will somehow pass tomorrow. Unless Dayton agrees to any new legislation, SF 509 is dead!

              I don’t know what your position is with the Democratic Party. Heck I don’t even know your name. All I know is that you are trying to derail the will of the people, and our legislators with misinformation about legislation that does not exist, or is not called out in the amendment.

              With this amendment, everyone who should have their vote counted, will have it counted. And cheaters will be removed from the vote tallies, BEFORE WE COUNT THIER VOTE!!

  4. OK. Number 1. Why would we want a government issued photo ID as apposed to a student ID, or even a passport?

    We’d want the state issued identification cards, is whatever form, because just now with absentee ballots, these are the acceptable forms of identification. To vote absentee, “substaintial equivalence” is obtained with a combination of things, like providing your ID numbers, address, signature, etc., which allow election officials to verify you ahead of time. And we certainly wouldn’t want non absentees to be able to use other forms of ID, because that wouldn’t be fair.

    We do absentee ballots require state ID numbers if available? Because it’s easy to look someone up in the state databases and check for fraud, felons, etc. This law exists, and is not new. Why doesn’t the state accept student ID numbers for absentee ballots? because they don’t have a database of every student ID from every college in the world, I would imagine. Why do they accept last 4 of SSN? Becasuse, combined with name, address, etc, the state can still determine if you are who you say you are. Again, this exists today.

  5. Number 2

    Yes we do like to refer to Carter/Baker report, not because it has this great provision for giving everyone a national voter ID card, but because it recognizes that there is a problem with voter fraud, and that simple fix to solve nearly all of it is use a photo ID to prevent it.

    You’ll have a year to get ready for it. And again, a vast majority of people don’t have to do anything. They have ID’s because it’s getting to where there are few things you can do without an ID,as pointed out by Jimmy in the first report, which is rather old from an ID requirements perspective. Why, you even need a photo ID to get into the DNC in Charlotte? Why aren’t minorities and women allowed to get in to see Bill CLinton complain about the photo ID laws sweeping the nation? Seems a bit hypocritic, but, that’s nothing new to the left.

    And so yes there will be a cost to get the very few who need one, a proper ID. On the other hand, photo ID makes the voting process so much more efficient, especially for Election Day registration, that we may even pay for the ID program over a few election cycles by simply making the verification process more efficient.

    And let’s not pretend there is no cost to run elections as there is. I’d like to know how much a general election costs to operate. What percentage does this increase it? My guess is, not much. I’ve heard some really stupid estimates that this will cost $50 million or more, which is pretty ridiculous even for a government operation. I wonder how much the cost was to implement the cold medicine identification program? I’d think we be good at implementing something simliar to what was recently done for that program. I didn’t hear Democrats whining about that cost!

  6. Jeepers. I just read a portion of the Ritchie “thing”. Good God is that ridiculous. He really thinks that susbstanial equivalence requires the mail of PVC’s to happen within the same day as part of this requirement.

    What a knucklehead. No where does this change suggest anything of the sort. There are so many imagined scenarios coming from the left on this, as to be bordering on insanity. Who knew that such a short amendment could produce such a quantity of ignorance?

  7. Number 3

    Aside from the secnarios I mentioned above regarding equivalence. Sean makes this notion that within seven calendar days of the election the provisional ballot must be resolved. I don’t see that in the amendment anywhere. And again, you have AN ENTIRE YEAR to get your ID, and after that it’s good for many years. If you forgot it, then seven days should be plenty. If you didn’t, we can figure out your identity through other means, just like we do for absentee ballots, which is SUBSTANTIALLY EQUIVALENT.

    In case you don’t know what that means, it means as close as possible to the same thing. Obviously, when you are in person, at the polls, a photo identification is possible. WE CAN SEE YOUR FACE!! You can’t in an absentee ballot, and so we have procedures in place to get identification through other means, BEFORE YOU CAST YOUR VOTE!! Which that same standard applies for provisional. We have you verified, BEFORE WE COUNT YOUR VOTE! Does that sound SUBSTAINALLY EQUIVALENT to you? It does to most reasonable people.

    • Please read the sentence immediately preceding the “seven calendar days” quote you highlight, John. It’s very clear where this is coming from.

      • So you are basing this on the 509 which isn’t part of the amendment? Wouldn’t that have to be addressed in any new legislation, which would also mean passing both houses as well as getting governor signature? Aren’t you applying a standard that is even in play anymore? Would the people have the opportunity to get that language modified, if it was found to be too burdensome?

        I note you do that quit a bit in your assumptions. You assume that 509 will automatically go into effect if the amendment is passed. Do you assume that the same exact language will be applied that was vetoed that last time around?

        • My post doesn’t assume the 509 passes. Point 1 clearly states that new legislation would need to be passed.

          In order to determine the real world consequences if the amendment passes, though, you have to assume what might be in the enabling legislation. A reasonable starting point for that would be to look at the legislation passed in the last session. If Republicans retain control of the Legislature, you can bet they’re going to send the same bill to Gov. Dayton and force him to veto it again. As the DFL is opposed to the amendment, they haven’t offered a counter-proposal to evaluate.

          • Which is fairly typical, correct? I mean you’re making a pretty big leap, that everything in 509 will go through unchallenged, and suddenly Dayton will go for this.

            I mean, if there are loop holes, or unintended consequences, we can certainly fix them. And IF, and it’s a bug if, someone is disenfranchised by this process, then guess what we have. We have thier ballot. We can always have an appeal process for someone who maybe was wrongly held out of the election, and get it recitified, and add their vote to the pile.

            the thing is, is that there will be so little of any disenfrachisement, if we implement well, and we follow through on provisonal problems. I think everyone is for doing just that. No one is looking to exclude anyone but cheaters. Period.

            • I’m not assuming 509 goes through. But it’s the only version of enabling legislation that’s out there today, so that’s what I used, and the post is clear about saying that this bill was vetoed by the Governor.

              If the amendment passes and the Legislature remains under Republican control (which I don’t think will happen — I think Democrats are in good position to retake the House), then I think it’s pretty likely we’ll have a stalemate between the Legislature and the Governor and the Secretary of State will be left to try and make the best of a bad situation and there will be lawsuits flying everywhere.

              • Oh I have no doubt that there will be lawsuits, just as there were this time. Most due to ridiculous behvaior by the left to thwart an effort without the basis for doing so.

                Ritchie had no authority to change bill titles. That’s a huge win. His partisanship has been on full display for far to long. I guess he started to think he was above the rule of law. Just the guy you want in charge of elections. NOT!

                And so you pick the most questionable aspects of 509, assuming they are the same stance that will be taken. And yet this bill wasn’t written long before various other challenges in voter ID law have been raised, and any new legislation will address these issues, and create law that provides fair and honest elections.

                And if by chance, something does get through that leaves a voter out of the process, we will A: have his vote on file, so it can be rectified, and B: we can make modifications to the statues to prevent that from happening again.

                • Please detail what I left out in my discussion of S.F. 509, then. Specifically.

                  • You base every assumption that the amendment is the wrong thing to do on SF 509, which A: isn’t the amendment, and B: hasn’t been or never will be the law!

                    SF 509 has nothing to do with the question put to voters in November. It’s a straw man. A snapshot of proposed legislation from the past. It might be a framework for what is to come, but nobody knows that. And if it were to pass by some unusaul circumstance, and it was proven that someone was indeed disenfranchised by it, there would be lawsuits and challenges to fix it.

                    The proposals in 509 are designed to eliminate… no let’s really get things messy… substaintally eliminate fraud. Fraud that we do know exists. The left claims that felons still get through. But only if they remain on the register list. Standard procedure states they should be purged. Same day with ID could result in a quick check of felons. But that’s left out of the objections from the left.

                    Fraud disenfranchises each of us. It is the duty of our government to eliminate this fraud. This amendment provides fair and honest elections, and any few voters that fall through a crack can and will be rectified, all the while protecting us from future election theft, which is good for every single one of us.

                    • The amendment provides no real guidance on how things are actually going to work. So you have to look at enabling legislation. You may not like S.F. 509, but it’s the only template out there.

                      What do you think a compromise measure looks like, then, John? How do you think the language of S.F. 509 could be softened to the agreement of both parties? What do you think Republicans would be willing to modify to get Gov. Dayton to sign off on it?

                    • I think a compromise measure to 509 addresses concerns that have arisen across the nation as other states have identified problems with voter ID. Obviously, some of these problems are not transferable under our current laws, but some might be, and we apply a correction. The statutes for election rules change all of the time to make things better, and to reduce fraud. Look at reporting changes in the PVC’s for exmaple, and already we’ve seen a reduction. But there are still problems, and problems from those votes we’re still counted.

                      And Carter/Baker noted fraud exists, and that this was a way to solve the problem was to implement photo ID.

  8. Number 4

    Amoung other things, things stood out:Today, those ID numbers are not required — verification of an absentee ballot request can be made by verifying name, address, and date of birth against the voter registration system.

    Which seems to imply that this works only if you are alraedy registered, which means that some form of verfication has alraedy occurred, does it not? Not sure if this is your assumption or actual language from the statutes.

    • Yes, you have to already be registered in order to request an absentee ballot. However, some believe that the Supreme Court may rule that merely providing an ID number and a signature is not “substantially equivalent” to comparing the photo ID itself. After all, someone who votes at the polls if the amendment passes has to be actually be confirmed against the picture on the ID.

      • And again, that’s because it prevents the fraud, that you can otherwise prevent BEFORE THE VOST IS CAST in those other cases, like absentee.

  9. Number 1

    Also, I’m not sure I get what you’re saying about nursing homes, so I want to clarify if you are reffering to absentee ballots. If so, then I beleive, once again, you are assuming the previously failed law 509 will be the standard. I’ll humor you and go on.

    I don;t see what the problem is with allowing the elderly to use an expired ID number to get their absentee ballot. the certification from the home make sense to prevent someone using stolen information to vote for someone in a nursing home, or someone voting in their stead using stolen or “borrowed” information. I don’t see this as a huge inconvenience, and again, if something about this is so unimaginable horrible, let’s fix it in the new regulations.

    We’re not asking them to get a new photo ID, unless they are planning on coming to the polls. And again, that’s because resources available to prevent fraud at the poll are very limited. A photo ID helps with that process.

  10. As to the estimates from the Sec State. He makes the WILD assumption that if you’re address and your photo ID have differing addresses, you will be disenfranchised. This is ridiculous. The photo ID is for identification of the person, not his address. He’s fudging the numbers and you guys are lapping it up.

  11. A military ID tells a person who you are. It doesn’t tell them where you live.With that ID I can vote in every county in the state. As a retired member of the US Army I think that people who don’t want voter ID think it is OK to vote fraudulently. I checked ID’s as a Military Policeman for years and no one got mad. Voting is a right and we should protect all rights and make sure that only those that are eligible to vote are allowed to vote.

    • Well, would you look at that. Someone finally joins the fray with an ounce of common sense. Welcome aboard David. You are about to be villified.

    • I’m amazed at how the fraud accusation always comes out, even though study after study (many of them conducted by conservatives) disproves it.

      By the way, depending on the state or the language of the law, that military ID may not allow you to vote under many of the new Voter ID bills being passed, because of the lack of address. See The question comes down to whether or not the absence of an address invalidates the ID for this purpose, and there is a credible argument that it does, although that may be beyond the scope of this forum.

      The problem is that this doesn’t address the actual forms of voting errors that occur in Minnesota. The biggest issue is felon voting, either to misunderstanding, misinformation, or lack of responsibility. Having a photo ID doesn’t address that at all; instead, it makes it harder for legitimate voters to participate, adds fees for many of the elderly to get the documents needed, and relies on vague promises to fix the gaps later. That isn’t responsible governance.

      • Funny, Sean highlights that it exists in this post, does he not? Are the 399 fraudulent? You don’t know. IF we can’t find the cheater, because we don’t know who he is or where he really lives, how do we catch them? It’s easy to catch the felons, but guess when we catch them? That’s right AFTER THEY’VE ALREADY VOTED. Wow, don’t cheat, because we’ll count your vote. And maybe will catch you someday. What a great system!!

        Having a photo ID does address that, because a felon shouldn’t be in the registered voter list, correct? That’s what Ritchie says, so I don’t know whether to beleive him or not.

        How can photo ID help catch a felon? We could run his ID number through the felon database, instead of just letting him vote and try to catch him later. Maybe that’s why we’d use only state provided ID’s, so we can easily tell who the bad guys are. Just a thought. I have no idea what data exists in the felon database, but it seems reasonable.

        If you can get and ID for free, I still don’t get how this adds fees for the elderly. Most of them already have ID’s anyway, and well help those who don’t get one.

        The cost is very minor. It’s fraction of what we current spend on election integrity, and may even save money through more efficient voting procedures.

        Of course the amendment is somewhat vague! Have you seen the elction election statues? Did you think we’d put out an amendment that detail don’t to the gnat’s rear end, every possible scenario. As it stands, the constituion says people under guardianship are not allowed to vote. That seems rather non-specific. You can’t tell me what that means, and yet there it is, in the Constitution, clarified in statute.

        You have no viable argument. Fraud exists. This is a step towards solving that problem in a sensible manner.

        • Sean already pointed out the issues with costs, because of the need to acquire other documents (birth certificates, etc.) to get the ID. Additionally, in many situations the free voter ID’s are hard to acquire (such as one office in Sauk City, Wisconsin, that was only available on the 5th Wednesdays of a month, so only a maximum of 4 days a year).

          The felon’s name would already be in the database, so it should already not be an issue. An updated electronic database that would offer up-to-the-minute records would be a solution to the problems you are describing, and that’s what was proposed as an alternative that the Republicans rejected. Having the ID doesn’t change that at all; it’s a bad solution to a problem, so my initial argument and analogy stands.

          Additionally, with the central processing of licenses and ID’s, how will we deal with the delays and the temporary papers? Will those be accepted as a form of ID? What about an expired license with the papers, or a situation where a person moved, registered for the new address, but still has the old address on the license? Again, too many flaws for this to be a well-designed effort.

          You keep saying that fraud exists, yet I’ve cited multiple studies (not just by anti-ID factions, which you would be right to question, but by conservatives and pro-amendment groups too) that show this isn’t the case. You have better odds of winning the lottery than finding this type of fraud; that’s what the studies show, as I’ve referenced before.

          • I see the amendment mentions that you get a free ID. I don’t see where it says that supporting documents to get that ID will require a fee. And remember, these are doucments that most of already have in our possession, and so the cost to make this happen, which has been overblown been hyper-partisan rhetoric, will likely be offset, if not in the first election cycle, certainly in subsequent cycles, because once ID’d your set. You have one. It’s good for a long time.

            And again, photo ID only works IN THE POLLS ON ELECTION DAY. The rest is all handled through all of the identification resources available to Sec State, and when implented correctely, will reduce fraud that Carter/Baker identifies, and will make voting more efficient, and will NOT disenfranchise anyone.

      • David, you should note that Drew likes to bring up problems in other states, that have completely different election laws, which are not applicable here, as examples of why we shouldn’t do this.

        He fails to note that in his examples, this “problem” that existed in the other state is rectified with a provisonal ballot, meaning we have the persons vote in hand, and we will count it, once the problem with that persons ID has been recitified.

        • David, you should also note that many of the issues other states have experienced have parallels to our situation. Additionally, there are many issues with the provisional ballot system that have been pointed out on the other forum (you should read it and make up your mind for yourself).

          Also, there is a tendency to cite “thousands” of cases of fraud, only to have that number disintegrate upon investigation.

          The issue still stands: the most common form of fraud is felon voting, and this doesn’t fix that. Instead, it places burdens on legitimate voters, without addressing the real problems. It is a partisan solution, not a good policy solution.

          • It’s only a partisan solution, because the Democrats want to buck thier base, the will of the people, the will of our legislators, in what appears to be nothing more than protection of the fraud they rely upon to win elections.

            Here are the facts of the amendment:

            Every legimate voter gets to vote.
            Absentee balloting doesn’t apply.
            Provisonal ballots can be resolved preventing unverifiable voters, and potentially felons, from having their vote counted before they vote versus after when it no longer matters.
            People who don’t have an existing ID can get one for free.

            That’s the amendment in a nutshell. Everything is else is pure speculation.

            • The idea of this “preventing unverifiable voters, and potentially felons, from having their vote counted” is questionable. How would that work, considering that in most of the cases of voter fraud by felons (according to the research and evidence) they walked up to the polls and voted under their own name anyways? Some of them probably showed a license as part of that process, so this does nothing to address that issue. Plus, we shouldn’t be restricting the rights of others based on things so theoretical that they have no substantiation.

              And I’ve pointed out numerous examples of how legitimate voters have been stopped from voting. Yes, they are from other states, but the idea of repeating other’s failures just to see if we’re more lucky sounds like a poor way to make laws.

              • So what? All of those problems can be rectified in new legislation. We as a nation have learned about some problems, and this amendment doesn’t preclude a solution to those problems. And if the voter casts a provisional ballot, WE HAVE A WAY TO COUNT HIS VOTE, if he was wrongly disqualified.

                And, I highlight how felon fraud can be eliminated above.

                Somehow, you are under the impression that we never learn anything from other states problems. You want to throw the baby out with the bath water because soemthing wasn’t perfect. It’s not perfect now? As noted by Carter/Baker, WHO RECOMMEND ID’S TO SOLVE THE PROBLEMS OF FRAUD.

                • And as noted in the other forum, the Carter/Baker commission calls for a number of things not included in this proposal, including mobile and readily accessible stations to provide ID’s, to be implemented as part of or before implementing such a solution. That’s missing from the various proposals, including the one for Minnesota. Offer legislation to implement that degree of easy access, along with flexible voting days and greater promotion of information, in addition to a waiver for any fees associated with getting the documents needed to get the ID, and you might get some interest from me.

                  However, all we currently see is one portion of the idea, without any of the actual safeguards that were supposed to come into play. It’s like giving a football player one cleat and saying that it will make him faster and safer. It doesn’t work. In fact, most of the efforts to require ID are also joined by additional restrictions on times and places to vote (see Ohio as an example), which makes one question the philosophy behind such efforts.

                  This is information that would be great for a public forum.

                • Note for clarification: these suggestions were in response to the issuing of the report, and in particular the criticisms of its reliance on the national REAL ID project, which it should be noted has yet to be implemented.

                  • But why were they recommended? Don’t get hung up on the recommendedations of implementation. A national ID was probably never going to fly, because each state has it’s own laws revolving around elections.

                    But the basis for the photo ID recommendation is still the same and that’s to substantially eliminate fraud.

                    • The national ID was a bit of a jump, true… but the premise of asking for voter ID in their report was founded on that idea, because of the very things you mentioned. Variance between states makes the implementation of an ID system for voting inherently unequal. It may not prove citizenship (as was pointed out by Royal Masset, a Texas Republican activist). In others, ID’s are only available the second Tuesday of the month in the afternoon. In others, only an original birth certificate will do, and that’s only if the information exactly matches (so women who got married and changed their names are out of luck).

                      You can’t separate the two, because without fair access the premise of the commission report crumbles (and even that premise is still in question).

                      Beyond that, there’s still my question about trying to argue that this is an effort to encourage voting, while at the same time we see a wave of restrictions on voting days and hours being implemented.

                    • So now you want to apply rules that don’t exist in our state, completely ignoring the mandate from the amendatement that free ID’s will be provided. We don’t have the Tuesday thing here.

                      Voting rules are, by the US Consitution, set by each state. So yeah, there are differences, and trying to apply exact legislation across the nation is not the way it works. We’re a republic.

                      Now that doesn’t violate the spirit of the Carter/Baker report. You’ve gotten to the point of being ridiculous, once again.

                      It’s clear at this point, that you have only one intent, and that is stop the reduction of fraud in our election system, by any means necessary. That’s a telling statement.

                    • Back to the insults…. so soon? Again, a public forum would be a great way to get past such obstacles.

                      The premise of the report, as it states, is to overcome the inequities of the variations between states that led to embarrassing situations in Florida and Ohio. Without that premise, you run into huge discrepancies, which was also a key element of the commission. (It’s also worth noting that it has an entire section on expanding access to elections.) So you can’t cherry pick which parts to quote while ignoring a key component. It’s like buying the most expensive car battery in the world for a car with no engine.

                      The report relied heavily on that concept to establish a level playing field; even then, it earned some well-deserved criticism for ignoring the obstacles to implementation (some of which you have pointed out). Plus they left much of the guarantees to later enforcement.

                      The biggest gap the report noted was a lack of updated registration records at the polls, which is better addressed with an electronic system with stations at each polling place. This also would address felon voting far more effectively, which was a concern of yours. This was offered as an alternative, but was rejected by the Republican majority.

                      I want sensible government action, and this doesn’t qualify. To claim otherwise is a falsehood in itself. To belittle others for pointing that out… that’s just wrong.

                    • The only people being belitted are the voters. You continually belitttle their very desires to have fair and honest elections. You can pick and pull at every slice of the Carter/Baker recommendations all you desire, and yet you skip the very essence of their recommendations. Their recommendations are that fraud exists, and photo ID will reduce and potentially eliminate fraud. Your arguments against this recommendation have all fallen flat. And when you run out of evidence, you result to calling my rebutals insults. Nothing could be further from the truth. There either is fraud, as Carter/Baker identifies, or there isnt. There either is a reduction in this fraud by voter ID or there isn’t. Our amendment has a basis guarantee that resolves <every one of your arguments. With this amendment, we get the elction integrity desired by Carter/Baker, and we have the safety net provided by proviosnal ballots. You have nothing left.

                      If pointing out that you must want the existing fraud to continue is insulting, perhaps you could provide an example of where my logic is incorrect. Because when you look at the fact that every single voter can get an ID, and every single voter can still vote, and we have the ability to verify every eligible voter, one is left with the conclusion that the Democratic relys upon fraud to get it’s candidates elected. Seriously, it is very difficult to find another reason for their opposition to this amendment. All spectrums of the voting populous find this to be an acceptable solution to the voter fraud problem, including Jimmy Carter. So I have to ask again, why the objection to this common sense amendment?

  12. We have precincts in Moorhead with 40 percent same day registration. Many of them are ND residents in MN to go to school. They drive ND licensed cars and have ND drivers licenses. These are fraudulent voters. Either they get MN drivers licenses (which is state law if you reside in state for 30 days, same as voting) or stop voting in my state. Check out same day registration on 2nd ward in Moorhead. Many of these “voters” pay ND state tax as residents. There is your proof.

    • There’s lots of proof out there. The 399 is one segment of fraud. There are other forms they can’t easily identify, because there is no good way to catch them.

      And none of these left wingers will state the obvious. the fraud that exists, even the 399 disenfranchises all of us who vote legally. And even a number that small could determine the differnce, as seen in Franken/Coleman which was decided by less than that.

    • If they are students attending school in Minnesota they are not fraudulent voters. From the SOS website: “Students have the option to either register and vote using a parent’s home address or their own school address, depending on which they consider their residence. However, they may only register and vote at one location in any election.” Their car license or their drivers license doesn’t matter in this case. They may use their student id to prove they are a Minnesota student.

      • Guess again. That only applies if you are a MN resident.

        • The state laws says you must change your drivers license after you reside in the state for 30 days. You cant have it both ways although liberals do appear to want to do that often.If it is there residence at college then they need a MN DL. If they vote and dont have it then I suppose they will be arrested for breaking the DL law. HMMM.

          • In order to same-day register, these students have to not only provide their student ID, but they have to provide evidence of residence as well, such as a lease, utility bill, or tuition statement addressed to them at a current MN address.

        • Not according to statute; for examples of the premise, see

          This has been held in various statutes and court cases. See

          This is a huge push for college towns (I went through this myself while attending Iowa State during the 2000 census). It makes more sense for a student to vote where they are using community resources the majority of the year, than somewhere that could be 1,000 miles away (unless they still live or primarily reside in their home town; then they should vote there).

          For the census, it affects formulas for funding for community resources. This makes sense, since someone who spends most of the year in that town uses those public services the majority of the time, and is subject to those local laws the majority of the time.

          • Thanks, Drew. You pulled together the information before I could get to it! (Go Cyclones – my daughter is currently a sophmore at ISU!)

            While one is supposed to change a drivers license after permanently moving – you actually have 60 days for a Class D license – many students do not because they will be returning to their home state once the school year is completed and the expense and hassle are not necessary. The residency requirements for voting and the residency requirements for a drivers license are different. There is nothing wrong or shady with a student using their school address to vote and keeping their parents address on their license. This is why, for students, you may, but are not required to, use a valid MN drivers license as one of your forms of id. You currently can use the forms previously mentioned by Sean and me.

            • I have seen some statements made on here which are very untrue. The first is that if you vote here in MN you have established residency. If you establish residency you must pay MN tax, have MN license plates and a MN drivers license. Voting is one of the ways that people establish themselves as a resident. As I stated in my first statement, if you vote here you cant pay your taxes in another state as a resident. I cant find a way to put this all in simpler language for you liberals. If ND students vote in MN then they become MN residents. Change the DL and pay our state taxes. Liberals please top making up things.

              • Where are you getting your information? I’d like to be able to verify it. Especially since it is so different than every piece of actual, citable evidence that has been presented to you.

              • Well, the residency question is more complicated than that, David. For instance, an out-of-state student who lives in an on-campus dormitory could vote in MN without changing their residency. I would agree, though, that in many cases if a student is renting an apartment off-campus that MN law indicates they should be treated as MN resident for tax purposes.

                But the issues you’re discussing are potential violations of tax law, not voting law.

      • And how does the amendment change anything for a student? The answer: Other than to show a picture ID, it doesn’t. They can get one, or they can vote provisonal and get ID’d later, yadda, yadda, yadda…

        Oh, and they can get one for free.

        Establishing student status, and residence, and all that is not addressed in the amendment, because it doesn’t change. They merely need a way to proove they are who they say they are.

        And if a problem arises, they can vote provisional, and get it worked out. We have their vote, in a sealed envelope, just waiting to be resolved. This really couldn’t get any easier. It’s fair because no one’s vote counts until they’ve been verified. Whether that’s absentee, at the poll, or via provsional ballot.

        • Who will pay for the free ids? I’ve been reminded many times by conservative friends that “nothing is really free”.

          • Elections cost money. Operaating them in such a manner that eliminates fraud and cheating is a prime function of the government. This adds to the cost, breifly, to provide free id’s, but much of that cost will be regained by greater efficientcy in registration efforts. And think of all the folks that will again be able to buy cold medicine!!

            I suppose you are against the requirement for an ID to buy cold medicine? Seems unfair to restrict people from access to needed medication.

            • Voting is an inherent constitutional right, implied in multiple locations and affirmed as part of Article IV. That’s an apples and oranges comparison.

              There are inherent cost limitations that go directly to the individual, especially the poor and vulnerable, with this approach. See the Brennan Center study at for details (yes, some of this is state-specific, but some of it is universal).

              • Everyone gets a free ID. Will you please, for the love God, read the amenment. The manedment modifies the MN Constitution to force that state to make sure people who need ID’s get the for free. I doesn’t say they get bus fare, or the day off, or what have you. For supporting documentation, the state could provide a voucher to waive the costs to obtain a supporting document. According to the amendment, it seem like they would be required to do so, because it will be in the Constitution. But thanks to the Brennen Center for applying circumstances that have nothing to do with our amendment.

                I’ll repeat it again. The amendment states that those who an ID, will be provided one free of charge. This doesn’t reduce any Consitutional right. It protects that right. Which is again, seems to be the only reason why you are against it.

                Opponents of this bill either want voting rights destroyed, or they haven’t read the amendment. This is the path to fair and honest elections, no if’s, and’s, or but’s.

                • It “could” do that, but the amendment only requires that the ID get issued for free. In other states where this requirement is in place, none of them are paying for the supporting documentation, too. (And I know you hate this, but S.F. 509 didn’t offer to pay for supporting documentation, either.)

                  But I’m glad to know you support making such documentation available for free to anyone who needs it.

                  • In 509, it wasn’t part of the consitution to provide free id’s. The language of the amendment is pretty clear. You can get ID’s for free. I’d say that you should be able to get a workaround in place to cover “free” in a complete manner, if it turns out to be an issue.

                    Despite Drew’s ramblings from someone, somewhere, claiming he wants voter supression, that is not even on our radar screen. We want seniors to vote. We want minorities to vote. We want the poor to vote. We want women to vote. But want them to do this legally, fairly, and honestly. Just as Carter/Baker did.

          • It should be noted dthat we change tax regulations on a regular basis. Some of those changes result in costs at some level. Shall we do away with any income tax changes in the future, because their might be a cost to do so? this is standard operating cost of government to facilitate elections. And few million dollars comapred to what we already spend is a piitance. Heck, MPLS is going to spend 350K on those stupid RCV machines, and that’s just one city!! They already spend over 1 million just to run elections in Mpls. No one can say what this will cost, becaus efew look at any potential savings from increased voting efficiency. I’ve only seen one realistic estimate that notes this very real possiblity. As one of the authors said, this doesn’t hurt same day, it enhances it!

          • You must be a resident to vote. In MN you have to show 30 days residency on election day to vote in that precinct. They do allow students to vote in either there home or school address but that is only for MN residents. If you establish residency to vote in MN you are a resident. Get it residency!

            • Again, where are you getting your information???? First of all, it’s 20 days, not 30. Second of all, your comment about “only for MN residents” does not make sense. Are you saying that a 20-year old from Colorado that goes to college at the University of Minnesota can’t vote in Minnesota?

              • When I read the staute online it said 30. Maybe I wasn’t in the student section. But Laura, again this is a distraction. Where in the amendment does something change for students that isn’t covered by, free id’s, and the safety net of voting provisionally?

                • It’s 20 days for everyone, not just students. Your information source seems to be innacurate.

                  • I was reading the MN statutes on line at the Sec State website. I’ll dig up what I was reading, and list the statute.

                  • I was reading this, which is actually up above as well.

                    Section 1. Eligibility; place of voting; ineligible persons.
                    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. The place of voting by one otherwise qualified who has changed his residence within 30 days preceding the election shall be prescribed by law.

                    But I do see this is 20 days per:
                    201.014 ELIGIBILITY TO VOTE.
                    Subdivision 1. Requirements. Except as provided in subdivision 2, an individual who meets the following requirements at the time of an election is eligible to vote. The individual must:
                    (a) Be 18 years of age or older;
                    (b) Be a citizen of the United States; and
                    (c) Maintain residence in Minnesota for 20 days immediately preceding the election.

                    Seems confusing that the consitution has language regarding the 30 days, but not the 20 days. Maybe we should thor it out and start over. Seems, that’s one of many of Drew’s positions on voting law. Sean’s as well for that matter.

                    • Strange that you would bury an insult this deep. Why not agree to a public forum, where such behavior would not be an issue?

        • Hold on, John. If you’re going to accuse me of drawing the worst possible inferences of the amendment, then you have to hold yourself to the same standard. You can’t say nothing will change for students, because that will be determined with the enabling legislation. As I discussed in the original post, the Republican version of the enabling legislation did in fact result in changes for students.

          • And that enabling legislation never made it, now did it. Unless you can come up with something that ties this amendment, factually, on it’s own merits, your issues are pure speculation. 509 is dead. It remains dead. WIll some parts of it survive. More than likely. Some of them will not. When the time comes to craft the legislation and the details of the statutes, then you’ll have something to bitch about. But for now, you are readching for anything you can find to keep the status quo.

            There is zero evidence to the contrary at this point.

            What happens in Texas is not relevant here at this time. If the amendment passes, then yes, if there’s an ID problem in Texas, and that same problem would apply here, ( it wouldn’t), then we can address it and fix it.

            You are really missing the point as to how simple this amendment is. You cannot say someone won’t get an ID, because the amendment states that everyone who needs an ID will get one. Do you understand that this becomes part of the constituion? That everyone will be given an ID if necessary, for the purposes of voting? How will someone be denied if the constitution demands that person gets an ID free of charge?

            • So we have to take it on faith that things won’t change? That’s another reason why this shouldn’t be passed as a Constitutional amendment — there’s no way to know in November what the true impact of this will be.

              • See how you both will stop at nothing to break the conditions of the amendment? Part of the amendment, is that all eligible voters get a free ID if they need one! Why don’t you get that? It’s part of the amendment. The state MUST provide free id’s for those who need them. It’s so simple, but you refuse to see it for what it is! Everyone eligible voter gets an ID to vote, free of charge if they need one. Then everyone will use that or the ID they already have at the polls. That’s it!!

                Why are you so obtuse? Seriously!

                The scenario is covered by the amendment. We still have to let every eligible voter vote. Why can’t you get that? Forget 509. It’s DEAD!

                And Drew, how is there any fianancial burden to any one individual when the MN Constitution says every one can get an ID for free if they need one. Does it say, only those who have certain documents will get one for free? No, it doesn’t. The argument is false. EVERYONE WHO NEEDS AN ID CAN GET ONE FOR FREE! It’s right there in black and white. No need for handing wring ing about how it’s accomplished, BECUASE IT’S IN THE CONSTIUTION THAT WE PROVIDE IT!! FOR. FREE.

                The amendment is very clear on this. You are dodging.

                • No sir, you are. In no case of these laws being implemented (and those do parallel the situation in Minnesota) does it say that those documents will be paid for. Neither does is say that for this amendment at all. So the costs of gaining the background documents, plus the travel and other obstacles, will be born by the people as a de-facto tax.

                  If this weren’t the case, then the provision becomes essentially meaningless, because people would simply acquire fake ID’s due to the lax criteria you seem to imply. That’s why your point fails.

                  Or is there a super-secret plan somewhere to use taxpayer money to reimburse and cover those expenses? That may sound sarcastic, but you seem to suggest that those costs are going to be covered, so my question to you is: how? Who is currently drafting the legislation, what will it cost, what will be covered (gas, time, printing, staffing costs, record-keeping, etc.), will taxes be raised to pay for it? Show me proof that these costs have been budgeted for.

                  And many conservatives would also point out that using taxpayer money to pay for something doesn’t make it free.

                  So unless someone has that plan, your argument falls apart.

                  • It doesn’t fall apart at all. The statutes that result from this amnedment will have to meet the requirements of the amendment. It’s that simple. Again, I don’t give a flying crap about what happened in state X. Our amendment clearly states taht you will be provided with an ID free of charge if necessary. It doesn’t say you will be paid for taking off work to acquire one. It does not say that you will be given a free coffee for following the law. It doesn’t say you are entitled to free transportation to get an ID. And it doesn’t say you get a free candy bar for the ride home.

                    It simply states that the state must provide this ID free of charge. It’s up to the law makers to meet this requirement. If it’s such a huge concern that someone needs help getting to a facility to get an ID, perhaps that should be part of a charity effort. Again, if you are bedridden, this doesn’t apply, because you vote absentee, which is impossible to use a photo ID, and you are already validated well ahead of having your vote counted.

                    Stop dodging the language.

                    • Our amendment follows the same patterns of the other amendments, and that has been the result; perhaps you should look into that, or maybe it should be brought up in a public forum?

                      Plus I noticed that you didn’t address the issues with costs of acquiring official documents, which is a government fee that would qualify under that rationale. Do we plan to pay for those documents, even if they come from another state or country? How? Where will the tax money come from? Will someone submit requests for reimbursement, or be exempted (which causes issues with equal standards)?That’s the issue with the literal language.

                      Also, it seems that you want to say it’s free, as long as you don’t factor in all of the real costs. That’s some fuzzy math there, and for those like seniors and others who live under tight budgets, we should be honest in the burdens this will pose. Plus shifting burdens to charities at a time of need is poor governance; it’s a tax of convenience and indifference.

                      Plus that same absentee assertion, which many reject because of the language of the amendment. And just for you, it is worth noting that the Minnesota version misses some of those particular protections to deal with situations like soldiers deployed overseas or absentee ballots, for instance.

                      All in all, a poor plan, especially when other options could do the job better with less problems. We shouldn’t be promoting big government solutions this way.

                    • All of these phony objections will be hioghlighted shortly in the papers, so we can educate the masses about your alleged nonsense and put an end to silly notions from Mark Ritchie. We will educate the voters on this, and afterwards they will find the same conclusions that I have. YOU WANT FRAUD TO CONTINUE! It’s all that’s left at this point.

                    • Nice online scream, good use of caps locks, but needs more exclamation points (to an extent I do apologize, but it was the most polite response that popped into my head).

                      Again, sources… you have claims, I have evidence (and given the record on this topic in that area, I’m comfortable with a public debate; after all, I’ve been asking for it multiple times). People can read my sources for themselves, and see the truth in my words. You didn’t dispute the issue with the documents, I see, so I take that as a point conceded, and that is a burden on the people of Minnesota.

                      Plus the whole fact that it’s a law drafted to fix the wrong type of fraud, when better solutions were available that would actually help make voting more secure. You talk about not caring about other states and what they do, so why are we using their flawed solution for a problem (voter impersonation) we don’t have here? Why not use the right solution for our problems, instead of this boondoggle?

                      I’m open to a public debate, where accusing someone of fraud doesn’t come without a price. I’m betting that most Minnesotans don’t take kindly to such antics; beyond that, I’m betting they’ll appreciate someone who wishes to protect the voice of all people.

                      The right to vote is essential; without it, no other right is safe. At best, this law takes shortcuts with the defense of that highest right. At worst, it substitutes fear politics for open discourse, especially in the conduct of some of its advocates. No amount of capital letters erases that.

                    • You can point to all of the sources that you regarding voter ID, but it is completely meaningless. The only piece of data that applies is the amendment itself. (By the way I use caps to give a point some punch, but to some that’s apparently inappropriate. When you run of out arguments, that’s where some people feel the need to go. I’ll use bolding, which is more of a pain in the neck, but if it keeps people from going off the deep end, I guess I can do that.)

                      Carter/Baker noted this was a problem, and this is a step in that direction to remove this fraud. While there were some real problem with the way Carter/Baker tackled the problem, most notably trying to make a national standard in a republic where laws very from state to state. That does not change that fact that voter ID, by their recommendations was a great way to eliminate fraud.

                      The Carter/Baker photo ID implementation required free ID’s for all, and when you look at this amendment, this is covered and becomes part of the MN Constitution. It’s is not an option to provide free ID’s to those who need one. The amendment demands it. This means that no matter what the legislation is that comes out of this process, everyone who needs an ID, must be rpovdied one free of charge to that individual. What that means is that is impossible for some one who votes at the polling place to be disenfranchised. Those very few folks who do not have idnetification will have the opportunity to get one, free of charge.

                      Each person who votes absentee will have to pre-identified, just as they are now. It is possible that more data will be gathered, but what is absolutely impossible is that this include photo ID. This means the bedridden, those in the military, etc, are completely unaffected by the photo ID change. It is physically impossible to use a photo ID through the mail.

                      And lastly, anyone who doesn’t have an ID on election day, will still get to vote provisionally, the matter of identification can be resolved, and the vote released.

                      Where is the problem?

                      Now that we see that every scenario is covered by the Constitutional Amendment, there is only matter to address, and that is the cost. It’s interesting that Democrats who rarely concern themselves with the price of any government program, have some sort of objection to a few percent increase in the cost of maintaining an election. As has been noted, they conveniently ignore that this process will likely bring more efficiency to process, and may actually offset nearly all of the cost of free identification.

                      And that, my friends leaves the opponetns to this amendment, without a leg to stand on. Every argument they have made is addressed by the language of the amendment.

                    • See below; the amendment covers the cost of the ID, but not the items or time to get it, according to SOS and other sources. Thus it is not free, semantics aside.

            • “Free of charge” only applies to the ID, not the documents needed to get it, or the transportation to get it, or any of the other costs and obstacles (again, see , section 3 in particular). Hence, an additional financial burden to vote, when better options to deal with fraud are available.

              • Why should you get subsidy to go get an ID? Again you are reaching. Most of us have to go to the DMV once every four years, and get our picture taken to get an ID renewed. What is the big deal? It’s time you Democrats put away the crying towel and deal with reality. This change causes no harm, it has the safety net of provisonal ballots, so what the heck is the problem already? Seriously, grow up, get your ID and vote. The amendment is basically fool proof. You need an ID to vote on election day with this change. Everyone likes this idea, except for the few goof balls who think it’s a bad idea, and the only argument they have is disenfranchisement that is impossible under the language of the amandement. The safety net is the provisonal ballot. So one has to ask why is the left wing fringe of the Democratic Party so againt this amendment?

        • One last time. If students want to vote here they must get a MN dl and pay MN taxes. They cant claim MN reciprocity with their parents address in ND and then say they are residents. If they live in MN then they are MN residents. No one every said those students couldnt vote.

          • Again, all of this is covered in the amendment. You have the right to get an ID if you can’t get one through the usual methods, and you still have the safety net of being able to votge provisonally while we figure out your situation. No disenfranchisement is possible through the amendment. Which is the only reason, at this point, that I can find why the left is agaisnt this amendment. And once again, one has to ask why? Since every voter can get an ID, and even without one, every voter can vote, why is there opposition to this modification?

  13. Did you see that make beleive atory in the paper, about a worker in the Carver County GOP booth at the fair claiming to witness some voter farud with Mexicans and gift cards. We know who worked on each day and which shifts, and no one recalls any such conversation. Now the left has to make up conversations to try to reduce support for this bill.

    Reminds me of Drew and Jenny making up stories about me. That’s a planned strategy I guess? Are we really this far in the mud here in MN?

    • That exchange actually happened. The made up stories are your side, my friend.

    • I never made up stories about you… in fact, I quoted your own remarks as much as possible. If you don’t like how those remarks later play out, then my advice would be not to say it in the first place.

      • You both made up some nonsense that I implied someone was faking an illness. Never said anything of the sort.

        • The story was told at the booth between 6pm and 8pm on Sunday, August 12. Ernie was there at the time but was not the one speaking. Who else was there?

        • John Brunette: August 31, 2012 at 11:41 am
          “Still waiting for you to tell me how she’s going to go vote under current law. Absentee?, since she’s bedridden… does something change for absentee voters? Or is she only bedridden when it comes time to get an ID that will last her for 4 years?”

          You even apologized for it, sort of, on August 31, 2012 at 1:28 pm, only to go back to it on September 4, 2012 at 11:03 pm:
          “Jennifer seemed to be using her mother as a human shield of sorts, claiming she can’t get an ID, but then claiming she’ll get to the polls.”

          From there, your comments went downhill; beyond that is all of the personal attacks which anyone can read on the other forum.

          Again, your own words. If you don’t like them, then do something better, maybe even have a public forum so this type of conduct doesn’t happen without someone being held responsible.

          • You guys can’t have it both ways. You can’t say the amendment forces the bedridden to get an ID to vote, and then claim they are voting absentee. If they are bedrideen, a voter is covered by the substainally equivalent clause when they vote absentee. If ther getting out of bed to go the polls, then they can do the same to get an ID.

            I’ll say it again, this way. When the left claims that a bedridden person won’t be allowed to vote, they are using these people as human shields to try to bolster an argument that has no merit.

            It’s disgusting to you when you read it, because it demonstrates your reliance on using these folks to bolster your cause. And that’s where the disgust lies.

            Photo ID does NOT apply to absentee votters and never will. It is impossible, in a physical sense to verify someone with a picture through the mail. Read the amendment.

          • Also note, I didn’t apologize for my initial remark, and still do not. You two decided that I was implying something, with I clearly was not. I pointed that out, and said I would never throw Jennifer’s mom under the bus. I wish I could say the same about you.

            • You did say that it was not your intent to imply that she was faking her condition, and then went on to do so again and again… your own words, Mr. Brunette.

              I had a chance to talk with some people (from both the MN Secretary of State office and from the MN Majority), and their description of the process doesn’t match Mr. Brunette’s version. In other court cases dealing with statutes addressing “substantially equivalent” requirements, specific exemptions were made in the provisions itself to allow for the flexibility to deal with home-bound adults and others who would be disenfranchised (see Pennsylvania’s language as an example at Even then, examples of disenfranchisement are emerging in large scale.

              The language up for consideration does not allow for this; even the person from MN Majority (who favors the amendment) reluctantly said that an equivalent way to obtain that type of ID could be an issue. Additionally, covering the cost of the documents needed to gain a card or license has not been covered in any state with similar or exactly the same language and intent as ours, nor did either party see that being done here. In other words, even assuming everything was properly aligned, there are monstrous gaps in what this addresses.

              So a recap, for all those who missed the other forum: exaggerated numbers of fraud claims, a law that doesn’t address the biggest issue Minnesota faces (felon voting), unknown consequences and funding sources, and poorly drafted language. Plus a law that addresses an issue that happens less than .000000284% of the time, according to documented cases (and multiple conservative studies confirm it’s lack of presence in general). Why waste money on this, when other approaches do the job better without such atrocious consequences?

              Lastly, a bit of common sense: Mr. Brunette offered an example of being able to walk in and impersonate another person to vote on his/her behalf. In all honesty, if someone was that foolish (betting that neither the poll workers nor anyone in line would recognize the name and realize it’s not the right person), then why would they ever use their own ID, and not a fake one? This is why many true conservatives have acknowledged this effort as being of a poor design; it takes a problem that doesn’t truly exist, blows it out of scale, and then offers a toxic solution that doesn’t fully address the problem. It’s another bridge to nowhere.

              • and then went on to do so again and again… You can say this as often as you wish, and it still won’t be true. Which leads me to wonder why anyone would think any general conversation with you would ever be even remotely truthful.

                The language does indeed allow for this as it stated. All voters, including those not voting in person must be subject to substantially equivalent identity and eligibility verification prior to a ballot being cast or counted

                It’s right there in black and white, and you would have to be some sort of doorknob to think that you could ever apply photo ID through the mail. And again, absentee validation occurs well before you vote. We know you are who you say you are before the ballot ever touches your fingertips.

                Do you somehow imagine that the proponents of this bill want there to be no absentee voting?

                This nothing more than attempt to make something simple and credible into somethihng confusing as a basis for obstruction, because no others means have worked to this point.

                exaggerated numbers of fraud claims, FALSE

                a law that doesn’t address the biggest issue Minnesota faces (felon voting) FALSE

                unknown consequences and funding sources FALSE

                and poorly drafted language FALSE

                Plus a law that addresses an issue that happens less than .000000284% of the time FALSE

                Anyone seeing a pattern here

                • I’ve got sources to back up everything, as you’ve even acknowledged in the other forum. Detailed sources, nonpartisan or conservative, for each point. All you can do is say I must be wrong, without ever offering proof.

                  Given that you endorsed the conduct of a man who yelled at a public forum to silence a different point of view… there is a pattern here, but it’s your credibility that is lacking, Mr. Brunette.

                  I’ve sent out the links to these forums, and told others to read them and make up their own mind, and I can say that I’ve got over 40 people questioning the wisdom of this amendment. Part of that is the facts I’ve offered, and part is the conduct of my opposition. I can only take credit for the former.

                  As for your assertions: cite sources, or go home. I respect people enough to show where my information comes from; it’s about time you do the same, Mr. Brunette.

                  • Sean has displayed everything we need to know. The text of the amendment. It’s perfect.

                    • BTW, an official statement from the BPOU will be in the Chaska paper on Thursday to debunk a bunch of the opposition’s misinformation. Let the fun begin. It was difficult to get it all in with a 500 word limitation.

                    • Then if it’s perfect, then why no public forum?

                    • Why, mostly because we live in carver County. This amendment will pass here with flying colors, so having a rally here would be a waste of money. I’ll bet you $100 to your favorite charity it passes here by getting 70% or better. So spending money on this from our BPOU prespective is unlikely, since we have other races to support.

              • I have to ask again, why were Jimmy Carter and James Baker for this again, if it’s a bridge to nowhere? I think I’ve asked that several times and still have no answer. Are you saying that these great Americans were recommending that we just waste a bunch of money to serve no purpose? What about HAVA in general? Did you think that’s a load of baloney?

                • HAVA’s voter ID standards are basically the same as existing MN law.

                  • Basically? Or would you go so far as to say substainally equivalent?

                    Still nothing about Carter/Baker? Why did they ask for photo ID? Were they invested in photographic equipment, or what was their angle?

                    You guys keep dodging the question stating that Carter/Baker full recommendations aren’t addressed, (which is dubious depending upon how you look at it, I suppose. Maybe even substantially dubious?)

                    • Quote the whole report… if I was as selective with the RNC platform as you are with Carter/Baker, I could rewrite it to say that they are anti-gun and pro-choice.

                      It wouldn’t be any more accurate than your use of that report.

                      Explain how Republicans are following the spirit of the document, when they tried to restrict voting hours in Democratic counties in Ohio, while keeping the polls open? Or when they brag about targeting those who have lost their home for permanent disenfranchisement?

                    • *Keeping the polls open in Republican counties. Typing too fast.

                    • John, if compliance with HAVA is what you want, we’re already there. HAVA doesn’t require ID, and allows for documents like utility bills under existing MN law.

                      If you read the full Carter/Baker report, they’re less concerned about the fraud itself (of which they have very little to actually report) and more about the perception (stoked by one side of the political aisle) that it exists.

                      This may shock you, John, but if there was a voter ID bill built along the lines of Carter/Baker with all the protections and safeguards in there, I could probably support it.

                      What’s being proposed here in Minnesota is far from it. This amendment is poorly written in many ways that have been discussed here, and in some ways that haven’t. For instance, the state wouldn’t be able to move in the future to a biometric form of identification without another constitutional amendment to undo the photo requirement.

                      And Republicans showed with their language in S.F. 509 that they’re not serious about addressing concerns about potential disenfranchisement of voters.

                    • I fail to see anything in our amendment that says we must change any poling hours what so ever. Sorry, doesn’t apply.

                    • Spin it all you want. You can’t change the fact that Carter/Baker recommended photo ID and provisional balloting and free identification to prevent fraud, without ever once mentioning felons in their report.

                      I don’t need to quote the whole report, becuase it doesn’t change a damn thing about thier conclusions that this was the way to prevent fraud. Plain and simple, folks. Carter/Baker noted this was a problem. This was their solution. It was bi-partisan. And it’s perfect because it contains within it the safety-net that aloows all to fill out a ballot, and we can solve any identification problem and still count the vote

                      You are beyond being obtuse about this. You’re down to being darn right ridiculous. Grow up!

                • And again, I point out that you took one portion of their report (the one part that partially agrees with your position, no less) and ignored the rest. Without widely available registration, open voting hours, and improvements to the process and databases, it all falls apart. Republican efforts have opposed many of those elements; therefore, quoting the report as a defense is inherently dishonest.

                  And bringing it up later on in the forum doesn’t erase what was already said.

                  • Your dodging again. The amendment requires identification for free, just like Carter/Baker. And again, you avoid the reason why they called for photo ID. Why is that?

                    • Selective editing doesn’t change the fact… they called for a uniform ID, nationally, to overcome discrimination, along with other essential pieces. What you are arguing is like handing someone a gear and saying it’s an engine; it lacks all common sense.

                      Read the full report, everyone, and see what I mean.

                    • You really should do analogies. You aren’t very good at them. What I’ve done here is show you how we got to this place in the election system. We are implementing the changes that will work from Carter/Baker. Here in MN, we can’t make or even propose changes to the U.S. Consitution through our electorate. In fact, the biggest problem with Carter/Baker was it was national, where election are controlled by the states.

                      That doens’t mean the premise of photo ID doesn’t work. We have the almost the exact same provisions in our bill. Photo ID, provided for free, with a provisonal safety-net. Near as I can tell, all of this came from Carter/Baker as a continuation of HAVA.

                      It’s like that BS Drew spouts over and over about me saying someone was faking an illness, when I never did. It’s the same with this. You just repeat the same BS over and over, and it doesn’t change a damn thing. I still never said it, and Carter/Baker is still the root of our amendment.

                      You talk about gears, I think it high time you shifted yours.

  14. I have an idea Drew. Let’s have a little back and forth right here. Let’s start from the top. Give me 1 reason why this amendment is a bad idea. You can give me as many as you want I guess, but let’s go through them one at a time. You’ve cited a lot of things over the past week or so, and I think alomost every one of them has been debunked, but there is alot of garbage to sift through from the opposition, and I want to make sure it’s all been addressed. Convince me and all here as to why this is a bad amendment. I don’t think you can.

    • First off, it doesn’t address the primary cause of voter fraud in the state, that being felon voting. According to all of the records available, almost the entirety of those cases had the felon voting as him or herself, and not impersonating someone else. So we are writing laws that don’t even address the core issue, when an electronic system would do better.

      Second, much of the claims of the degree of fraud offered by proponents has been shown to be false. In multiple cases on this forum (and in local media, such as the Chaska Herald), thousands of potential cases were cited, especially with the PVC’s. Using public and conservative sources, that was proven to be an exaggeration, and even the remaining cases were ones that merited additional investigation, and not confirmed examples of fraud.

      Third, the use of voter impersonation is less likely than winning the lottery. Multiple studies (nonpartisan and conservative, such as the NRLA study) have confirmed this, and the U.S. Supreme Court has acknowledge that to be fact (a court that leans conservative).

      Fourth, it adds additional burdens to the elderly, poor, and disadvantaged, which has been well documented in other states with similar language. Hundreds of examples are emerging of our grandparents, neighbors, veterans, friends, and countrymen and women losing a right to vote that they’ve exercised for years.

      Fifth, it lacks definition as to how it will avoid clear problems in implementation. Even the authors and proponents of the language cannot answer all of the questions, and voting for half-drafted laws is a bad idea.

      Sixth, it is a partisan issue that is being used around the country to suppress votes in order to influence elections. From the author of the Pennsylvania language bragging about it guaranteeing a win for Romney, to the author of the South Carolina language sending and receiving racist emails in support of the effort, to the attempt to set lower hours for voting in Ohio for counties that normally vote for Democrats, the efforts have all come from partisan pushes. Like the comment from New Hampshire GOP Speaker William O’Brien said about suppressing college student’s right to vote, who called them “foolish” and said they just “vote with their feelings.” I’ve offered multiple pieces of evidence on this; given the pervasive nature of this conduct throughout the country, we’d be foolish to follow in that pattern, or to think it doesn’t play a role here.

      Seventh, it restricts a fundamental right, without which there is no oversight of government. It does so based on false claims, when other solutions are available to address the problems.

      Eighth, many of those in favor of the amendment have so far conducted a campaign more intent on silencing opposition that addressing concerns. We should always be nervous when this is seen as the path of democracy, when in actuality it is a path to failure.

      I’ve got about five or six more, if you want them. All with sources too.

      My question to you: on a number of claims, you’ve said that you have notes or sources to support them, but they’ve either been heavily partisan or unconfirmable. Can you give your sources, please?

      • First one is incorrect. As noted by Carter/Baker there is fraud to be prevented by voter ID.

        Second, as noted by Carter/Baker there is fraud to be prevented. And it should be noted that it’s very difficult to catch someone who’s claimed to be someone they are not, using an address that may or may not even exist.

        Third, maybe, but we can’t tell, as mentioned above.

        Fourth, ridiculous. We have the safety net of provisioanl ballots.

        Fifth, it has everything it needs for the amendment with no holes.

        Sixth, HAVA and Carter/Baker are hardly partisan efforts, while the obstruction sure seem to be.

        Seventh, completely false. This amendment protects voters rights.

        Eight, also untrue. In fact Ernie Leidiger was the one who was being silenced by opposing views, before he got up and stood for seniors.

        My source. The language of the amendment. Carter/Baker. Sec State Mark Ritchie. What else do you need?

        • The first was felon voting, and those examples showed that they voted under their own name. So how does having an ID change that?

          Also, see my previous post about cherry-picking from the Carter/Baker report. It’s inherently dishonest, when put in context of the full text of the report.

          Second, I’ve got multiple studies that show this type of fraud addressed by the amendment doesn’t exist. Period. Studies by Republican lawyers, politicians, and statesmen, all referenced in this forum for others to see and confirm. You’re proposing to waste taxpayer money on a solution to a lie.

          Third ties in to two, and has been proven again. Texas, Ohio, here in Minnesota, the standard is the same; this is a boogeyman used to scare people into doing something beneath their normal standards, nothing more.

          Fourth: even other conservatives, and those implementing this law, say your safety net is just one giant hole. See the past posts, and look at who is actually quoting the statute in full.

          Fifth: see above.

          Sixth: it’s not my fault that these quotes exist, and that they show the truth of what is going on. I’m not a fan of blaming the victims just so those who are doing wrong don’t have to be held responsible.

          It limits voting without a feasible goal in sight, and is doing so in every place it’s been tried (again, multiple examples above).

          Last, all of your sources have been used to destroy your argument. Every time you quote Carter/Baker, I reference the full document and not the one page that comes remotely close to your view. The language of the amendment is vague, as you’ve said, and I’ve offered clear example of this. And you can’t cite your other sources, because they were either shown to be completely false, or to actually contradict your argument.

          As for Mr. Leidiger: I ask anyone to envision an elderly relative who is or was in a nursing home, and then picture them listening to someone speak. I then ask anyone to picture someone interrupting that speech with the tone and words Mr. Leidiger and Mr. Brunette have used on this topic. Then I ask if this seems like a decent, Christian way to behave.

          I have yet to have anyone say yes.

          • On your second, again, Carter/Baker seemed to think it would be addressed by photo ID, so if not, then why did they recommend it?

            • From the report itself, “There is no evidence of extensive fraud in U.S. elections or of multiple voting.”

              Also, it calls for states “to create mobile offices” to make voting and ID’s easily available to all who need them. Where’s the proposal to do so, in this state or any state that passed a voter ID bill?

              Again, selective, as Sean points out very well.

              • There’s nothing selective about the amendment though. It states clearly, that part of the constitution will require all elligible voters to get an ID for free. Simple math, eh, Bob? All usually means everyone, near as I can tell.

            • In fact, the word “felon” doesn’t appear at all in the voter identification section of the Carter/Baker Report. It is true that Carter/Baker calls for better maintenance of voter registration files to eliminate them from the lists of eligible voters, which is a good idea.

              • I believe Ritchie said the felons are purged from the registration files, and can only come through same-day voters. Same-day voters could easily be checked against a felony registry for the precinct. I’ve actually seen that proposed somewhere in all of this rhetoric.

                Which again makes my point. If Carter/Baker never mentions felons, but still recommends to reduce fraud, what were they trying to solve?

                • The name of the report is “Building Confidence in U.S. Elections”, not “Stopping Voter Fraud in U.S. Elections”. Specifically, the main thrust of the report is making sure there are standard procedures in place so there are common standards from state to state and from precinct to precinct, unlike the crazy quilt we have today.

                  • OK. I’ll bite. Why does voter ID build confidence in US elections? We it maybe be, I don’t know, to prevent voter fraud? If not, why is photo ID the solution? Does it just make us all feel better? Well how can that be, if there isn’t a problem?

                    • Voting by felons is a problem. This amendment doesn’t solve it. You can pass legislation that fixes felon voting without impacting the rights of other people to vote. (And, in fact, the Democratic-controlled Legislature did so in 2009 — legislation overwhelmingly supported by the state’s county attorneys — only to see Gov. Pawlenty veto it.) Other types of voter fraud are essentially non-existent, and the solution proposed — without taking the sorts of other steps that Carter/Baker suggest — is worse than the problem.

                      MN Republicans don’t propose doing the sorts of proactive things that Carter/Baker suggest to ensure that nothing bad happens. S.F. 509 didn’t do any of those things, and was rightfully vetoed by the Governor. If you want me to feel secure about this amendment, show me that Republicans are willing in the enabling legislation to put real resources — money and people — behind an effort to make sure that the sorts of voters vulnerable to disenfranchisement because of this amendment are not victimized.

                      Carter/Baker was able to achieve a measure of bipartisan support because it gored oxes on both sides of the aisle. It called for voter ID, but also for measures such as automatic voter registration, and automatic restoration of voting rights for felons who have completed their sentences. It called for more experimentation with early voting, regional voting centers, and voting by mail. These are things that all make it easier for citizens to vote. Where are MN Republicans on these issues? (Yes, I know there is very limited use of vote by mail in the most rural areas of the state, but no push to expand it)

                  • Although there is dispute over the magnitude of the voter fraud problem, there is, in the words of the Carter-Baker Commission, “no doubt that it occurs,” and in a close election, even “a small amount of fraud could make the margin of difference.”

                    Wow. What a bunch of partisan whackos they must be!

          • Third, Carter/Baker was an effort to chase boogeymen? Interesting that they’d even waste the time.

            • Not their efforts, but these voter ID efforts.

              An electronic system, tied in to all relevant databases, with stations at each polling location, would deal with the major problems cited in Carter-Baker, and many of the issues you’ve cited too. Strange that the GOP rejected that approach, and instead chose something that conveniently disenfranchises blocks of people who usually don’t vote for them.

              • Actually it’s strange that the opponents of this amendment think it disenfranchises anyone. There’s even a safety net in the form of provisional ballots. Did Carter/Baker have that little nugget in their program to prevent folks from falling through a crack?

                • So if Republicans love Carter/Baker, then why are they restricting locations to register for the free ID’s, hours allowed for voting, and educational efforts around voting?

                  Awfully convenient that they are implementing only the portion that helps rig the system to give them more power, isn’t it?

                  • We not doing any of those things. In fact, we’ve got language in the amendment that prevents that sort of thing.

                    • What language is that? Because the amendment looks silent to me on those issues.

                    • The amendment states, that the state must provide free ID’s to all who need them. If we make it so that someone cannot get an ID, then that statute becomes unconstitutional, right?

                      And again, there is the safety-net of the provisional ballot. If someone didn’t get their free ID, we can rectify the situation and count the vote.

                      Hours of voting don’t change and are uniform across the state per existing law, as is education.

                      You guys clearly don’t understand that this is going to be embedded into our Constitution, to protect voters rights, rather than deny them.

                    • Again, the wording of amendment only states that the ID is free. The supporting documents will not be free unless the Legislature takes action to do so. Your party voted for legislation that did nothing to address the costs of the supporting documentation.

                      Your notion of provisional voting as the savior of things is misguided. There’s only a limited time period, and the onus will be on the voter. It’s not as if there’s going to be this team of public employees hustling around trying to prove voters eligible.

                      And, again, as I noted, MN Republicans have proposed precisely nothing to address these sorts of concerns. They’re not making it easier for people to get IDs. They’ve proposed nothing to help elderly or disabled folks get IDs. They’re not doing anything to expand early voting or vote by mail. This provision, as it currently stands, is only going to disenfranchise people. There’s nothing in it that makes it easier to vote.

                    • Your basic assumption is where you guys are off in la-la land. You’re assuming this amendment is designed to disenfranchise voters and reduce tunrout. That’s a false premise. Having this as a consitutional amendment prevents just that kind of thing from happening.

                      The amendment demands free ids. If that means supporting documents as well, then so be it. It has to be free, per the Constitution. Talk about obtuse! The language prevents any sort of “poll tax” nonsense.

                      Why wouldn’t we have people helping to get provisional ballots cleared? Can you tell by looking at a provisional ballot what is inside it? Both parties would be taking a huge gamble not to see to it that a provisonal ballot is indeed counted. You have to understand, that if further measures are taken to prevent fraud, these provisional ballots are less likely to be fraudulent, because we have the capability to catch a cheater.

                      What do you assume will happen with unvalidated provisonal ballots? You don’t think these will be investigated for potential fraud? And if they’ve been found not to be fraudulent, then what do we have? Proof of who they are!! Duh! You guys really can’t see past the ends off your nose on this, can you. You’re clearly not thinking big picture here at all. This protects all of us. Period. End of story.

                    • Again, the wording of amendment only states that the ID is free. The amendment is silent as to the cost of the supporting documents. Therefore, the supporting documents will not be free unless the Legislature takes action to do so. You cannot assume language into the text of the amendment that does not exist. Your party voted for legislation that did nothing to address the costs of the supporting documentation. No other state that has passed “free ID” legislation has paid for the supporting documents, and your party tried to pass legislation that would have done the exact same thing.

                      The amendment makes no provision for having state or county employees to actively help folks clear their ID issues. The legislation passed by your party put the onus on voters to provide the necessary documentation. Party officials aren’t in charge of the provisional ballot validation and counting process, so I don’t see what that has to do with anything.

                    • I give up. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it think. You guys just keep making up BS to shoot down something that is solid, in what can only be seen at this point as protecting the fraud your party relies upon to ensure election victory. Anyone can see through your ruse, and I’m done wasting time on this nonsense. The truth will be in the paper on Thursday. It will get traction from there to expose your BS for what it is.

                    • Have you looked up the definition of “truth”? Merely asserting something loudly and consistently doesn’t make it true…

                    • I know it doesn’t and that’s where you’re stuck. Repeating the same shtuff over and over. BORING/. Get a new gig. This baloney of your no longer flies.

                    • Exactly… every example of this language implemented elsewhere shows that the cost of the supporting docs is NOT covered. Our language is the same. Therefore, arguing that there won’t be a cost is an outright fraud.

                      And the links to the examples and studies proving this, along with some of your more colorful comments on this forum, will be posted to the online section associated with your article. Given that, I think many people will question why the evidence contradicts your claims, Mr. Brunette.

                    • I cannot wait for the people to see for themselves how far you chuckleheads will go to try to distort this amendment for something it’s not. Especially, when you can’t explain how it’s the basic reocmmendation of the Carter/Baker report.

                      You can’t even refute that it will soon be a constitutional requirement to get people free id’s. You have to reach so far out there as to claim that it’s costs to much to get a ride to get to an ID place… You’re going to look ridiculous, and I can’t wait for it to start.

                      Common sense is with us and the language. Your side has to twist and distort to try to avoid the inevitable. I’d be sad if it wasn’t so funny to watch, and how important it is to secure our votes. It has gotten rather pathetic however. That will be clear to all in the coming weeks.

                      Oh, and make sure to fabricate stories about how I think people fake illnesses while you’re at it. That’ll help you out, I’m sure. Just be careful. This time it’s will be official. I’m warning you right now. You state that made up crap on a public forum and you will be in a courtroom.

                    • What about the “busload of Mexicans” story? Are you warning your buddies about making stuff up, too? As I follow these posts, John, I think, as they say, you appear to be all hat and no cattle.

                    • No one seems to know anything about that story in the paper. It doesn’t sound plausible to me. I know that Mexico had the problem with people giving gift cards to go vote, and it was a headline down there, but I never heard of anything of the sort going on here.

                      I’ve heard of registration drives that seemed a bit goofy, but any nonsense from false registrations would be caught by voter ID.

                      Drew actually thinks, when I said funny stff about quotes from other states that I thought it was funny that people said these things. I said it because it’s funny that he’d bring that up in regard to MN voting laws which are vastly different from other states. that’s what’s funny about it, not that it’s hilarious.

                      But we’ve seen that alot with Drew. He thought I was saying someone was faking an illness at one point, when only a fool could come to such a conclusion from what I said.

                      I’m not making anything up in the upcoming article in the paper. The BPOU letter focuses purely on the amendment, as should the rest of you, which I’ve said all along. there is fraud, this prevents fraud, it protects our votes rather than the contrary, as you suggest, and it has wide bi-partisan, cross the board support.

                      The only people standing agains this are a handful of Democrats who have to make something out of the language that isn’t there. It’s dishonest, and you know it.

                    • Laura, I have the list of who was there at the time. No one recalls any such story being told. I even hear Ch. 9 had dropped by at one point, but we didn’t hear anyone say anything then either. We’re questioning the validity of this story. Sounds fairly made up to me, especially when you see it was a story, but it was a story that occurred in Mexico, not the US.

                      Unless someone can give us a name or a description or a video, I’m going to have call BS on this one.

                    • 40-50ish white guy (I know, that’s the core of your party, at least here in Carver County, so it doesn’t narrow it down). He mentioned that the busload of Mexicans happened during the last congressional campaign while working on the Kline campaign. It sounds like only Ernie and this guy were there at the time and Ernie was talking to someone else. It happened between 6-8 as my guy was there to help tear down our booth at the end of the fair. I have the highest confidence that this happened and am not surprised that no one would admit it.

                    • Your comment of “funny stuff” referred to examples of misconduct, racism, and other interference with voting rights. This is the first time you have offered any clarification as to your comment; that delay is something I cannot be held responsible for.

                      As for your threat of legal action, it should be noted that many people found your comments to be reprehensible. I have previously said on this forum that, when directing others to this conversation, I give the link to the whole forum, and let them read for themselves. I have yet to find anyone, even those who are in favor of this amendment, who found the comments to be in good taste, whatever your intentions may have been. Thus I don’t need to post my conclusions or impressions, or any speculation as to intent; in my opinion, your own words would be sufficient to impeach the perception of a civil tone, so I would let them stand on their own. I cannot be held at fault for your own words, Mr. Brunette.

                      It should also be noted that, out of the two of us, I am the only one not to accuse the other of being stupid, illiterate, corrupt, or sympathetic to/participating in voter fraud. While I am critical of your arguments, when addressing you I’ve kept a standard of calling you either Mr. Brunette or sir to the greatest extent possible. I find it hard to believe that a judge, jury, or the general public, upon viewing this record, would see you as the victim. Indeed, the counterclaim could be rather substantial, if such an unwise path were pursued. Most likely, it would appear petty in general, and only the lawyers would make any money.

                      I do believe in pointing out the things you gloss over. I believe in pointing out the national trend against voter rights. I believe that a law that depends on later laws to clear up problems isn’t well designed. I believe the multiple studies by conservative groups showing that this fraud you reference doesn’t exist should be heard and factored in. I believe in implementing the full process, not just picking the one thing that gives my “side” an edge. I believe in pointing out how other conservative organizations called your estimates of the amount of fraud into question, and pointing out that we have yet to hear the examples you promised from other states of how this was a positive. I believe in pointing out that while the piece of plastic that makes up the ID may be free, the documents and effort needed to get it are not, and instead of making this easier to do, conservatives have made it harder.

                      And I believe in letting others speak, and not trying to yell over them. So does Sean, given the open nature of this forum. That is what we are fighting to protect for all people, not just the ones we think should be heard.

                    • This busload of Mexicans thing was either made up or stated by someone who wasn’t an offical worker that night. All have been accounted for, and none of recall even hearing this goofy story.

                    • Unfortunately, the vaunted Thursday Chaska Herald piece provided no more detail than what was given here.

              • It’s a trick question. They did have it. And it originally called for a 48 hour turn around to get the ballot resolved. 509 gave 7 days. Seems maybe we were being a little more flexible than Carter/Baker. Not that it matters. 509 is dead.

              • And here I thought Republicans were all old white men. Why would we want to disenfranchise them? See, even your BS is BS.

                • Can we all say “Medicare”? Seriously, Republicans across the country have acknowledged this benefits them politically, and they’ve bragged about that being the best reason to do it. That’s just facts, not my fault they were caught being honest on the record.

                  • Now what the heck are you talking about? WTF does medicare have to do with this?

                    • You asked why Republicans would have issues with older voters. I gave a reason, a clear one. Seems simple to me; plus I have all the bragging and evidence to that end.

                    • Does God even know what you are talking about?

                    • The groups most affected by this amendment are groups that tend to vote Democratic, as has been the case in each state these laws were drafted.

                      Republican strength is highest in middle-aged white males, not the elderly as you claimed. Maybe that piece of information will help clarify, but the point seems obvious. So it’s a convenient coincidence that these voting restrictions always target those demographics.

                      Hopefully this helps bring you up to pace.

                    • Are we back on that BS again? Seriously, no one can be disenfranchised under this amendment. It becomes unconsitutional to do so. You can get a free id, and you have the saftey-net of the provisonal ballot. BORING.

                      We love older voters, we love minority voters, we want everyone to vote. And like Carter/Baker we want to remove fraud to increase voter confidence in the system, and thus improve voter turnout, just as it does where it’s been tried.

                      We want our vote protected, which is all this has ever been about. tell you what. Come to a meeting sometime as a guest, and you can laern all about what we do and what we think. You’ll quickly learn, there are no such suppression goals or effort, and even talk of it. It is not on anyone’s radar screen but the usual race baiters, senior spookers, and usful idiots that make up the Democratic party.

                    • Except that the language doesn’t do that, as pointed out by those implementing the law and others who are actually supporting it. So why should I believe your version, when everyone else involved with either trying to pass this amendment or implementing it afterwards says it’s not true? It may be what you wish was true, but that’s not the case.

                    • We have a meeting Thursday night, although this is not on the agenda. Why not get involved and learn the truth about the GOP. It will surprise you. WHen I was a young idiot, I believed all of the same BS you are spewing now. Guess what. It doesn’t exist. I’ve seen with my own eyes who is making up nonsense politically, and it is your party. This amendment sells itself. Probably why it’s so popular.

                      But seriously, come get in our ranks. It’s easy. I did. There’s no entrance exam. Come and see for yourself what the GOP is all about. If you’re looking for the garbage you are spewing about us, you won’t find it. I guarantee it.

                    • Actually, I’m open to viewpoints from all sides of the spectrum. However, the last time I tried to attend a GOP meeting, I was turned away for refusing to sign an oath pledging my vote to the GOP candidates in the future, and the support of the beliefs and initiatives of the party. This is actually fairly common, especially in GOP primaries and caucuses.

                      Maybe not an entrance exam, but definitely a loss of individuality and personal choice.

  15. Your first was that it failed to address the primary source of fraud. As noted in Carter/Baker fraud exists and will be addressed by photo ID, a concept that you have yet to wrap your head around. The biggest source of fraud isn’t felons voting. It’s the biggest source of fraud convictions. There is a difference.

    • From the report itself, “There is no evidence of extensive fraud in U.S. elections or of multiple voting.”

      Plus every other study that I cited, many from conservatives or Republicans. I notice you never address those.

      • We don’t need extensive fraud to justify this amendment. We’ve recently had an election for national office decided by 225 votes.

        And somehow, Carter/Baker recommended that we go to a photo ID system? If it wasn’t to address fraud, what was it’s purpose?

        • Sean already hit on it, to be one component of a system to create a national standard for election quality.

          It is worth noting that the report itself says that the commission was not in agreement on voter ID, that there were differences in opinion. It also points out the need for broad reform, not just that one piece, particularly a piece which the report itself acknowledges as creating issues with disenfranchisement.

          So the reliance on the report doesn’t answer the problems with this law (and neither does repeating it again and again). There were multiple studies conducted by conservative groups after the report to try to prove that voter impersonation was a serious issue. None of them did; in fact, they proved the exact opposite. Why don’t you ever address those studies?

          • As I said above:

            Although there is dispute over the magnitude of the voter fraud problem, there is, in the words of the Carter-Baker Commission, “no doubt that it occurs,” and in a close election, even “a small amount of fraud could make the margin of difference.”

            Seems to be good enough for me. I like the bi-partisan recommendation of this group. We have the best parts of it in our amendment. Photo ID, with free ID, and the saftey-net of provisional ballots. And it addresses the problem that “no doubt occurs”.

            Like I said, before. It is almost impossible to catch the fraud that this addresses. Reasonable people can do the math and come to the same conclusion that Carter/Baker did.

            I’ve got nothing left to say. This case is closed. This amendment will pass, and it will be implemented in such a way that ensures voter integrity. Period. End of story.

            • So no comments on how this takes only one part of the report, and not the other parts identified as essential to make it work? Or the concerns in the report itself about implementing voter ID without those protections?

              Or all of the studies that found issues with your previous claims of rampant voter fraud? Studies that prove the presence of voter impersonation to be so tiny as to be virtually nonexistent? Studies that you ignore every time they are brought up? I’m starting to get a mental image of you with your fingers in your ears, chanting “Carter/Baker” with your eyes closed every time I bring up these facts that you never seem to notice.

              Or how this doesn’t address the problems with voting that is occurring in Minnesota?

              Or how this is a partisan effort occurring around the country, with Republicans bragging about how this will disenfranchise enough people to give them elections?

              There are cheaper and better methods that address the issues that occur. Instead, we got a proposal that ignores this, and fails to meet the minimum standards of competency for laws with common sense.

              After all, I noticed you didn’t address two other points. First off, the fact that it’s hard to have faith in a proposal to add restrictions to voting, when the advocates of the proposal insist on demeaning and shouting down anyone who thinks differently.

              Second, if there are people so foolish as to try to impersonate someone else at the polls (counting on no one recognizing them, or the name of the person they are trying to impersonate), then why would they be silly enough to use their own ID, and not a fake one? Why should we pass a law written so poorly that the same base strategies a 19 year old uses to try to buy alcohol can defeat it?

              • zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…. already addressed ad nausem…. BORING!!

                • No you didn’t… you just repeat the same lines, and then launch into insults and attacks.

                  I’ve quoted four separate studies that contradict your claim about the potential for voter impersonation. You’ve never answered any of them. Nor did you even touch my last point about the absolute weakness of this premise in implementation.

                  And you won’t agree to a public forum, where your habit of using personal insults would be suspended in favor of a debate on merit alone.

                  So you write an article to dodge the debate… so what happens when the follow-up articles and comments online point to those resources and facts you keep dodging? What happens when people read your comment about discrimination and outright voter disenfranchisement being “funny stuff”? Or your blind defense of a man berating others in front of senior citizens?

                  I have a feeling that approach will do more harm in the long run for your cause than good, Mr. Brunette.

                  • Oh like when you speak of faking illnesses and they sort of repetition and insults. Get in the kettle, Mr. Pot.

                    Potential this, maybe that, could be this, might be that, unless you read the amendment. And everyone will be before it’s over.

                    After this passes, every citizen has a Consitutional right in MN to a free id. Who knows they might even be able to buy cold medicine with it. No objection there. Free ID’s Woo Hoo. Consitutionally provided. No loop hole there. Woo Hoo!

                    Provisonal saftey-net. No way to be turned away. Woo Hoo! Everyone’s a winner! Good bye opponents. You are going to lose this agrument. Scaring people is the Democratic mantra, It’s a lousy way to make a point, especially when it always wrong! Come up with something tangible that fails against the language of the amendment. Until then, see you at the polls. With an ID no less.

                    • As I said before, many people found the comments to be morally reprehensible, regardless of intent. However, to mollify your concerns I am perfectly content to forward the entire conversation to others, and let them judge for themselves, while withholding my opinion.

                      Let us dive into your “it’s free” argument. In order to be truly free of charge, it cannot require documentation that would have a fee attached to it as part of the acquisition of the ID, or the premise fails. Thus passports, birth certificates, and many of the primary identifying documents are out. Utility bills pose a problem for those living in shelters (homeless, domestic violence, or otherwise), and for those who wish to own their own land and be self-reliant. A Social Security card by itself is not much for proof of identity, but let’s say it was accepted. Looking at what would be allowed, the standard to get a free ID has the potential to be at or less than current criteria, or on the other hand would require documentation that requires a fee. Thus the process of getting the ID is either a critically flawed layer of bureaucracy without practical design, or is not free.

                      In this way, the amendment mirrors the language and issues other states have faced. They also promised free ID’s, and they haven’t been free in the process of acquisition. I have referenced multiple tangible examples of this as proof. Thus, if we are being honest, then we must acknowledge this as fact.

                      Also, your claims on absentee ballots are not supported by the language. When other states like Georgia passed these laws, they made specific arrangements for absentee ballots, with standards that addressed issues with a lack of photo ID. (It is worth noting that Georgia still requires people to present verifying identification to a poll worker the first time they register for absentee voting, but they make specific allowances for “a copy of a current utility bill, bank statement, government check, paycheck, or other government document” to fulfill that requirement. See 21-2-417 of the Georgia Code.) Both the Secretary of State’s office and organizations in favor of this amendment have indicated that the language, due to the lack of exemptions, could place a substantial burden on bedridden voters, or anyone voting absentee.

                      And I notice that you still have not addressed the multiple studies by conservative and nonpartisan sources that show the fraud that was the primary reason for this amendment doesn’t exist.

                    • snore. More of the same old tired rants that might apply to old 509, but they don’t apply here.

                      Consitionally free ids, safety-net balloting. Everyone’s covered. Don’t matter how you spin it. The language is clear. I’d think by now you’d read it.

                      Everyone demands compromise, so we follow Carter/Baker’s key provisions, and it still isn’t good enough, I guess.

                      I understand. You want to continue the fraud. I guess if my party were gaming the system, I’d be pissed too. Pissed that my party plays the fraud games.

                      Join the CarterBaker team Drew. Let’s have reduced fraud like they said we will. Let’s put confidence back in the voting system. Instead of nit picking what could have happened, let’s be glad we’ll have a Consitutional provison to protect all voters instead of protecting cheaters. You don’t want to be labeled a cheater protector do you? I mean, really, is there any honor in protecting cheating?

                      C’mon guys. Protect the voters, not the cheaters. Get with the program already. read the amendment and embrace it for what it is. Solid protection for voters rights. C’mon, Jimmy’s waiting for you.

                    • Drew. Why are you so hung up on the free id issue? The constitution will state that we have to provide these id’s for free. If they aren’t really free, then the new rules are challengable in court for voilating the new Consitution, right?

                      And these folks will gotton to vote anyway, and we can move ahead and solve the problems.

                      Look beyond your hatred.

                      After this passes will have provsional ballots to see where the problem are. We adderss them and them. Everyone wants real ballots counted Drew. Can you tell which party an envelope belongs to? I can’t! How about a number? can you tell which party a number belongs to? I can’t.

                      Look at the situation, not your hateful estimations. These provisional ballots will be resolved, and the cheaters will stay home, because we fianlly might be able to catch them. Provisional ballots have no race, so no need to race bait. Provisional ballots have no age, so no need for scaring seniors. Provisional ballots have no breasts, so no need to frighten women either. Everyone is going to want to get these ballots counted, including you and me, and certainly the person who cast them.

                      Put aside the hate, Drew. Follow the process. It’s going to be a better system. The Consitution of MN will demand it!

                    • That should say we address them and count them.

                    • Strange that after a couple weeks of insulting my intelligence, accusing me of breaking the law and supporting others while they do so, and otherwise launching personal attacks, that you would want to open your arms now.

                      It is not hatred to disagree with someone, to point out gaps in their argument, to show others different information and encourage them to think for themselves. To label all opponents as being motivated by hate is in itself only toxic to the American tradition of free thought and ideas.

                      As far as the free ID goes, perhaps your intentions are to have all of those documents for free, and if so that is at least worth a positive note in your direction. The problem is that none of the courts, nor the Republican legislatures, have shared that interpretation in any of the other states that have passed this language. The only cost that is covered is the piece of plastic for the ID, not the other costs (part of this is practicality, since covering all the different forms and costs would create a massive tangle of red tape, and consume large amounts of taxpayer dollars). The reality of every implementation so far contradicts your point, even on the fail-safe of appeal to the state supreme court. Thus the reality here, just as it has been elsewhere, is that the ID’s will cost money.

                      If that isn’t the intent, then why isn’t there legislative draft language to address this, or language in the amendment itself? Because based on the current language, under the premise of stare decisis, the costs will not be covered.

                      And while at it, why not follow Cater/Baker in full, and not the part the report warned could cause genuine issues with disenfranchisement? Where are the mobile registration stations, the national standards for handling ballots, or the expanded polling hours? Strange that those proposing the voter ID laws are opposing every other recommendation of the report (Ohio is the extreme example of this, with multiple efforts by the GOP legislature that directly contradict Carter/Baker). I’m confident that anyone else who reads the report, and then reads the comments and quotes of those writing these laws, will come to the same conclusion.

                      Also, I noticed you didn’t address the question as to why someone who was so devious as to try to impersonate someone else at the polls (which happens less often that someone winning the lottery, according to the conservative studies previously cited) would be so silly as to not use a fake ID. Again, I cannot take credit for pointing this out, as a number of conservatives had done so already.

                      And the lack of exemptions for absentee are a problem. In other states, exemptions from the ID requirements for absentee ballots are part of the statute or language (see Georgia, Ohio, and others). Not in the language for Minnesota, and I’ve got multiple sources with legal knowledge of the implementation that say this will cause significant and dramatic problems.

                      So you want me to join the team? Then follow the full rule book. A standard that informs voters of requirements, takes politics out of implementation, increases availability of polling times and locations, and reaches out to all Americans. One that doesn’t allow such radical discrepancies between states. One that doesn’t have one party bragging about rigging the rules so the other party can’t win, and attacking anyone who challenges that premise. That’s more in line with Carter/Baker; if you can adopt that position, then there’s room for agreement. But that is not your position as of this moment, nor is it the position of those proposing this amendment.

                    • That hate is strong with this one. He still assumes this is about voter supression. He’s wrong.

                      ID’s are free in this amendment as part of the Consitution. Period. If it turns out that there is a issue, it’s challengeable due to the amendment. The ID’s must be free. I don’t give two hoots how it was implemnted elsewhere. Here, in our amendment, it’s required for this to be free. You have no argument here. Plain and simple. Free is free.

                      And if someone still can’t get ID’d, they can vote provisionally, and the problem can be solved after that fact. Why do I repeat myself? Because the language of the bill is simple. Stop the hate. Embrace the truth. This amendment is solid. If not, then you are misunderstanding it, because you hate what could ahppen, rather than what will happen.

                      And I can’t believe you still don’t see this is the basic recommendation of Carter/Baker. Must sting abit to have one of your own against you on this.

                    • The “basic recommendation of the Carter/Baker report”? Seriously? There were 91 recommendations in the report. Voter ID-related topics make up five of them. Voter ID isn’t the first of the five pillars that they recommend, either. (The first pillar is a universal voter registration list, as Drew has discussed elsewhere.)

                    • You have a severe fixation with the word “hate” there, Mr. Brunette. Hopefully you do realize that most people see that as condescending and rude, and beneath a civil Christian standard.

                      I do not hate; I tell the truth. If all you can see from that is a reason to hate, then I suggest another hobby.

                      I noticed, once again, that you dodged the court cases that discredit your argument. You also ignore the fact that in every other voter ID bill, they were required to be free. This has never covered the cost to get the ID, nor does it do so here, according to the SOS, MN Majority reps, and others. So unless you can address why you are the only person with your interpretation, your version falls apart. It is a nice story, best classified as a work of idealist fiction.

                      A provisional vote means nothing if the vote will never count, if there are clear obstacles to getting the ID for many of our disadvantaged. It’s like giving a starving dog a rubber bone.

                      And again, where are the bills to implement the full provisions of Carter/Baker, and not just the parts that give the GOP an edge? After all, the trend with the GOP efforts has been to restrict voting times, places, and options, not enhance them as the report requires. What happens when people see that contradiction, and realize the disingenuous nature of the claim?

                      Where are the bills to make it easier to register, to expand voting hours, to create a uniform national standard? Those were all cornerstones that were to be laid before a voter ID was to be considered. So where are they?

                    • OK, allow me to clarify, before you pop a bolt. the amendment takes the portion of Carter/Baker which can be implemented by a single state. Our state cannot tell other states what to do. Our nation can’t even tell other states what to do. Election law varies because the laws belong to the inidivudla states. So universal regristration doesn’t work, and isn’t applicable here. Next.

                    • The state can expand polling hours, provide mobile stations for registration, and remove partisan efforts to tamper with election procedures. It can also include specific exemptions for absentee balloting, like pretty much every other state has in this situation, but noticeably missing from the amendment. So this is not in line with Carter/Baker. Period.

                    • We couldn’t do all of Carter/Baker at the state level, but we could do a lot of it, including (but not limited to):

                      * automatic registration of voters via drivers licenses and other interactions with state government

                      * automatic restoration of voting rights for felons once their sentences are complete

                      * reforms to put election administration under a nonpartisan office

                      * expansion of voting by mail

                      * experimentation with voting centers

                      * mobile teams to help elderly and disabled citizens get ID

                      Yet, we don’t see the MN GOP backing any of this. Why not?

                    • I’m guessing I’m missin gyour point on hate. You see you’re basic premise is that you hate all republicans, and when one of them runs their mouth off about somehting that isn’t the party position, you assume it is. that’s you showing your hate for our party.

                      Rather than assume Mark Ritchie, for example, stand for the entire Democratic party position on voter ID, I criticize him for his flase rhetoric, and do so because it applies here.

                      In PA, the courts upheld their amendment. Have there been some problems, yeah, a few. But they are resolvable problem, just as the black woman, who was born at home and couldn’t get an ID, now has one.

                      I like the article I’m reading from CNN where they state both sides of the problem effectively, without making up garbage. It’s difficult to figure out who is comitting the fraud that “no doubt exists” (from Carter/Baker), and catch them, and it’s also difficult to see who might fall through the cracks with voter id. But along with provional ballots, you can do something about one of these problems. They other you cannot without some big changes, namely voter ID.

                    • Good Lord, that is a fabrication. I never said I hate anyone, so stop offering such claims. Or perhaps you missed my post where I questioned the intent of some of the articles about Mr. Leidiger on this forum?

                      I have a right to a different opinion; however, having a different opinion doesn’t justify your claims of hate and persecution, nor the playing of the victim card so often. Indeed, I would not want to live with such a fragile view of the world, to where every voice different than mine was a voice to fear.

                      My best friend is a staunch conservative (living in California, no less, so talk about being in the minority), and we have debated voter ID (I’ve also sent him the link to this blog). We do so civilly, without the accusations of hate when someone else brings up a good point. Only in your comments, Mr. Brunette, do I find such claims.

                      The fact is there is a partisan push to this approach. The other fact is that, like Sean, if there was a holistic effort to revamp voting to make it easier, more unified, and more secure, I’d be on board. This doesn’t qualify, the amendment leaves too much up to chance, future potential legislation, or litigation. So set aside the partisan blinders, and let’s go back and design a proper effort.

                    • Sean, I don’t see these things helping with fraud.

                      * automatic registration of voters via drivers licenses and other interactions with state government

                      * automatic restoration of voting rights for felons once their sentences are complete

                      * reforms to put election administration under a nonpartisan office

                      * expansion of voting by mail

                      * experimentation with voting centers

                      * mobile teams to help elderly and disabled citizens get ID

                      You really think the above items are more important than voter fraud? Wow!

  16. Mary Kiffmeyer, former Secretary of State and House author on S.F. 590, said Monday that the voter ID amendment would not prevent felon voting:

    After a Monday Federalist Society debate on the voter restriction amendment, The UpTake asked Representative Kiffmeyer about the argument that showing a photo ID will not prevent felons form voting. She replied, “That’s right, in some cases, but it is not a matter of that, it’s a matter that it’s a deterrent. Without question when people are going to do something illegal the fact that they have to show their ID and show that kind of document, and they’re in that, they will probably leave rather than commit that kind of fraud.”

    • As in Carter/Baker, the amendment mentions nothing about felons. Felon are already prohibited from voting in the existing portion of the Consitution as noted above. This amendment does not change the felon language.

      I’d also note she says “That’s right, in some cases…” She did not say it was designed to catch fleons, but act as a deterent. We will have a better cahnce of catching them with photo ID, before there vote is counted.

      • Carter/Baker mentions felon voting, John, it just doesn’t put the onus on voter ID to stop it. Have you read the report? You stop felon voting through other measures.

        • Sean, you aer the one who said felons weren’t mentioned in Carter/Baker up above. This does make it easier to catch them, before they vote, which would be nice for change.

          • You need to read more carefully. I said: “In fact, the word “felon” doesn’t appear at all in the voter identification section of the Carter/Baker Report.”

            There is nothing in the amendment that makes it easier to catch felons. Will there be something in the enabling legislation to address that? Perhaps, but we don’t know that. (S.F. 509 didn’t.)

            • Sure there is. Provisional ballots could very well make it easier to catch felons. Like Kiffmeyer said, it will likely deter a felon from breaking this law since they have a greater chance to get caught.

              P.S. You’re nit picking again. You’re still making the assumption, as is Drew, that felon voting is the only fraud we face.

              • It is the primary form of identified fraud, as you (and others from the Carver County GOP) have noted. And yet this doesn’t do anything to make it easier, as has been pointed out.

                Besides, something that “could” maybe, possibly catch a handful of errors, at best, doesn’t justify making it harder for hundreds of thousands of people to vote.

                • Just going off Carter/Baker for the fraud that “no doubt exists” and could throw off a tight election, as they noted as well. Honesty. Give it a try.

                  • And yet, the studies conducted by conservative groups after Carter/Baker wasn’t implemented, in the hopes of finding that fraud, all struck out.

                    To their credit, they reported those honest findings. Shouldn’t we listen to them?

  17. Also note, the Pennsylvania GOP defense of their voter ID law now officially concedes a lack of any evidence of voter fraud through impersonation in Pennsylvania, or elsewhere, and does so under the official record of the court:

    • Yippy skippy. Are our laws the same? Do they have same day registration? If not, as noted by many, same day is where the greatest chance for fraud occurs. So we’re going to enhance same day, gather cleaner data on the voter through actual verification, and allow the voter to vote if we can’t and then figure it out. Pretty simple math.

      • Read the full text: “The parties are not aware of any incidents of in-person voter fraud in Pennsylvania and do not have direct personal knowledge of in person voter fraud elsewhere.” That includes same-day registration, and all situations.

        This had been a key premise of your argument; you even offered an example of someone being able to walk in and impersonate someone else. And yet we now have another example showing that this is a red herring.

        Voter ID doesn’t do those things; a unified electronic registry does. Without that, no form of ID makes a difference.

  18. do not have direct personal knowledge of in person voter fraud elsewhere

    I have no personal knowledge of any murders in Minneapolis, and yet the exist. Next.

    • Good point, since there is evidence of the murders. And yet the studies referenced show virtually no evidence of this voter impersonation fraud, to the extent that it is now an admitted fact in a court case.

      Thank you for reinforcing the point.

      • How you got to me reinforcing anything out of that is kinda strange, but so is the entire oppossion to this amendment. And the hatin continues…

        • There is evidence of murders being committed. There is no evidence of the voter impersonation. Common sense says your analogy argues against the amendment, since there is no evidence for it. Your example only adds to that argument, but I am happy to incorporate it into the discussion.

          It should also be noted that you’re the only one using the word “hate” (or so variant). You must learn to let go of that anger. After all, why be so angry at these facts that undermine your argument? They are facts, being angry at them won’t help.

  19. Another thing to consider (covered in part before, but missing from recent discussion; my apologies to the moderator if I’m restating this): a study on the cost of implementing voter ID, based on similar circumstances and requirements in other states, and the requirements and ambiguities of the amendment.

    While the organization does lean against the proposed amendment, the study took care to cite sources and rationale for the figures they quote.

    Some key figures (the range comes from the fact that many specifics are undefined, and may be subject to legislation, litigation, or both):

    State costs: $10 to $14 million

    Local costs: $26.5 to $63.6 million

    Individual costs: $16 to $72 million

    Given the holes in the language, the lack of evidence of voter impersonation, and the hardship on many of the most vulnerable, why should we vote for this tax increase?

    • Those numbers are so completely ridiculous. I get that government will running this, but even the governemnt can’t screw this up that bad. Good God, why not just state it will cost a jillion dollars. You’ve gone to the well this time.

      • Why are they ridiculous? What are your cost estimates, for comparison?


          Far, far, far below these ridiculous numbers.

          Seriously, 72 million in individual costs? Even IF Ritchie’s 200,000 voters who’d need identifying wasn’t over inflated, that be well over $300 per person getting an ID. That’s just plain ridiculous.

          Most reasonable estimates are for the cost to be around 2 million dolars, which is a drop in the drop when compared to election costs, overall, this is nothing, and I still don’t see any savings as has been presented in other reports.

          • Interesting that your source offers less than half of the amount shown to be necessary in other states for voter education, and eventually eliminates that funding altogether. The study I referenced actually uses the costs from Indiana and Missouri for voter education to predict our costs in a reasonable manner.

            It also ignores the costs of maintaining and implementing the electronic databases, and only offers a low estimate for setting up a web interface. What good is the interface without the databases to maintain it?

            It also ignores additional hours for processing provisional ballots and other issues.

            Those are some massive holes, just to name a few.

            • I fail to see anything in the amendment that requires any new databases. How much can it really cost to educate voters that they need an ID to vote? Come November 7th, everyone will know they need an ID to vote. How hard is that to figure out. Bring your wallet. Wow, that was hard. Or did they have something significantly different as noted in the study I linked?

              I don’t see anything about a web interface in the amendment either. Are we taking about afew new words on the Sec State website, like Bring your wallet, stupid!

              It should note that additonal hours for provisional will be offset by the cost of PVC procedures and things we do to validate same day voters today.

              And there is a complete wash in poll worker training. that happens regardless of the current law. It just has slighly different content each year.

              You guys are WAY off in the weeds again, scrambling and searching for any nugget you can find to knock this down. Why is that I have to wonder? Ends justifies the means? (which a dog whistle for cheating, in case you can’t figure it out).

              • The whole idea is to be able to check against registered databases for felons, people who’ve moved, etc. That means updated information, which ironically is one of the provisions of the Carter/Baker report.

                Again, the thing about the report I cited is they looked at real issues, problems, and requirements from other states that have tried this already. Hence, there is a reasonable framework for their estimations.

          • It also completely ignores the costs associated with additional poll worker training.

            • That’s because that is required no matter what. Each year, the poll workers are trained due to variances in the law, new poll workers, etc. It’s not any more expensive to train a poll worker with or without voter ID.

              • Anyone who has ever implemented a new program, or added additional requirements to an old one, knows that the costs increase proportionally (or exponentially, sometimes) with the degree of change.

          • Another interesting note: the example of an absentee ballot shown in the study you cite adds a section requiring a witness or worker to see a photo ID in order to receive the ballot. It even has a picture of it.

            • Which isn’t decided, and makes it a cost that might not exist. Unlike yours where every possible cost is a given.

              • Isn’t it possible that one is an absolute best-case cost scenario (which some could argue fails to take into account some obvious costs) and the other is a worst-case scenario (trys to consider all possible ancillary costs associated with implementation)? The true cost will be somewhere in between. It would be fiscally responsible to prepare for the higher costs and then a win for everyone if costs are lower. Of course, my personal preference is to just vote no, so my cost for implementation would be $0. 🙂

              • I’m sorry, but I’m confused here. Didn’t we just have a whole section (multiple ones, actually) about how this wouldn’t be a requirement, since it would cause major issues for the bedridden?

                So now it could be in there, and not only that, but advocates of the amendment are designing requirements for it to be in place? Not only that, but the study you cited directly states that “The identities of those not voting in person must be verified by something substantially equivalent to the in-person photo ID requirement.” In other words, no exceptions, photo ID required, which it then goes into detail about.

                Isn’t this a flip-flop from your previous position?

      • They footnote and cite sources for each cost of implementation, including GOP sources from Indiana and other states who had to meet the requirements for the laws they passed.

        • Theya re also a group of left wing, former ambulance chasers.

          • Really? Again, such anger. I found it encouraging that they cited conservative sources as part of their logic, and not just one side.

            I’m reminded of a piece of wisdom once said to be by a pastor: “Always be suspicious of someone who tries to tell you who you should hate.” In all fairness, Mr. Brunette didn’t use the word hate in this post, but the anger runs contrary to any good Christian standard.

            • It’s quite funny how you determine when I might be angry. I’m usually on here to poke fun at lefties, cause Lord knows they can’t handle it. I didn’t tell you who to hate. I’m just saying your hate is unwarranted.

              You might also note when a false prophet tries to decree the Christain standard. Apparently scaring seniors is the Christain thing to do. Isn’t that how this all got started after all?

              • Mr. Brunette, you are the one who keeps accusing others of hate, calling people stupid, questioning their values, and attacking them. I have repeatedly said my argument is against your position, and yet you continue to play the victim card without any legitimate or moral foundation to your claims. My advice is to stop trying to be a victim, because your own comments show it to be a lie.

                Again, in a public forum this would be obvious, and the audience so disgusted with such conduct that the damage to your standing would be severe. It is convenient that you avoid such open forums.

                It is also worth noting who did the yelling at the presentation? Again, in your version of things, having a different point of view seems to justify an amazing amount of anger, which is unfortunate and contrary to the high standards of our nation. I’m sure the senior center would have allowed for a separate forum or presentation, but you have rejected any need to actually reach out to the average citizens of Carver County as not being cost effective or necessary. Instead, it’s a desire to silence opposition. I must apologize, Mr. Brunette, but I cannot support such authoritarian tactics.

                I do not hate you, or anyone else in this discussion, no matter how convenient that would make it in your own little reality. I just have facts that, on this topic, prove you wrong.

                • Ah, if only that were true.

                  • I have called you sir or Mr. Brunette throughout the conversation. I’ve never implied malice to you personally, nor have I questioned your ability to read or reason. I have challenged your assertions, but with facts and details.

                    I’d be perfectly happy to put our comments side by side, and let the parents and members of the community decide which voice represents a standard of discussion and debate they would want to see in their own children.

                    Passion is a good thing, and you are certainly a passionate defender of your peers. However, if you are looking for a monster to yell at, who will return your rage in turn, you are wasting your time.

                    • Oh I know fully well, I’m wasting my time. Trying to talk sense to Democrats has never worked. Me and my brother get into it all of the time, but when one of us is being stupid we call the other on it, and don’t puff chests and feign outrage. And we don’t accomplish a damn thing. It drives my mom nuts. I’m still trying to get him to admit he’s a lefty. I haven’t gotten anywhere.

                      If you would like I can call you Mr. K. Seems kinda silly though.

                      Like I’ve said b4. I’d be happy being a JFK democrat. Too bad his economic ideals left the party about the same time his brains left his head.

                    • I’d be fine with getting rid of the words hate and stupid from your responses, for a start.

                      There are your generic bloggers, the ones that show up on the news web sites full of infinite rage and wanting to prove how right they are. Many of them, on both the right and the left, have no clue what they are talking about. However, this is a community blog, and when you spend that much time focused on demeaning others, everyone in the community gets to see it.

                      I’m open for civil debate, and I’m even willing to grant a good point. However, this all started with your defense of Mr. Leidiger’s conduct, in that he was justified in raising his voice at that presentation. Do you not undermine that premise every time you turn to personal attacks when someone else makes a valid point? If nothing else, is that not a poor political strategy, by playing into the narrative you are trying to disprove?


  1. More Than Just Ernie: The Best of Brick City Blog in 2012 | Brick City Blog - December 28, 2012

    […] From: How the Voter ID amendment could change voting in this state […]

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