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Letter: Proposed voter ID poses questions

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There have been many one sided letters about the photo ID for voting. Here is more information or questions behind the bill. You be the judge on how you want to vote on it. In some newspaper stories it is a called a special photo ID instead of a drivers license.

In Cass County there are 35 polling places that went to mail in ballots. Most are townships. This was to save election costs or some other reason. They had to show some ID as a proof of residence before they were put on a roster. And under the photo ID bill, mail in ballots may be no more.

From a Minnesota Township Newspaper, the Secretary of State's Office said, for the proposed amendment all absentee voters must be subject to substantially equivalent identity and eligibility prior to the ballot being cast or counted. This requirement would require voters who are casting ballots overseas or away from home to verify their identity in the same way as a voter who votes in person. Proving their identity in this way will be nearly impossible for those who may be serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. In addition, it would require all voters to provide proof of their current Minnesota address. Those on active duty are unlikely to have this type of documentation accessible to them. If this language is added to our state constitution, Minnesota will become the only state in the union to apply these requirements to military voters.

Every other state with photo ID requirements exempts active, duty military voters and some other voters and their absentee voters. If this language is added into our constitution, the legislature will not have the authority to add exemptions for service men and women. Constitutional amendments are forever.

Maybe if a polling place has 500 to 1,000 or more I could see a need for a photo ID. When residents and the judges have lived in the same place for 50 to 60 years and are ¼ mile apart it is dumb to ask for a photo ID. I have been election judge and head judge for more than 16 years.

Raymond Peterson

Backus

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