Letter: Minnesota's voting law needs remedy
As a frequent summer visitor to the Park Rapids area and a resident of Indiana, I have been following the various articles objecting to the proposed Voter ID law in Minnesota. Indiana's law is one of the few, if not only the one, to be found constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court. One reason Indiana's law was ruled constitutional is that none of the plaintiffs could produce any evidence that anyone had been legally denied the right to vote. Interestingly, detractors of the Voter ID Law now make all kinds of unsubstantiated claims that voters have been denied their legal right to vote, but they have yet to avail themselves of the opportunity for a court to review the validity of such claims.
I find it astounding that a frequent objection to the Minnesota law is that it is unnecessary. Consider what happened in the last Minnesota Senatorial Election: It was determined that over 1,000 votes were illegal, and there have been over 200 convictions for illegal voting. The election was decided by a little more than 300 votes. Whether the election was truly decided by illegal votes is not really relevant; the fact is it very well may have been. Rather, it seems clear to me that the current Minnesota Election System is broken and needs to be changed to assure all voters, that a few illegal voters will not decide an election.
Indiana uses provisional ballot. Based on my extensive experience, less than ½ of one percent of the ballots are provisional. Frequently they are not allowed, but usually for obvious reasons, such as someone who does not live within city limits attempts to vote in a city election. The cost to implement Indiana's provisional balloting system has been minimal.
I am not saying Voter ID is perfect, but what happened in Minnesota in 2010 should never happen again anywhere. Every Minnesota citizen should be outraged that it happened even once.
Before anyone criticizes any solution to assure elections are honest, I suggest that they first provide a better remedy for Minnesota's system, which rewards fraud. If you are against Voter ID, what is your solution to prevent it from happening again?
Republican Party chairman
Elkhart County, Ind.