Letter: Voter ID would deny rights
When I first heard about the Voter ID Constitutional Amendment, I wrote to my state legislators, asking for the number of cases of voter fraud that would have been prevented by the use of a photo ID I never did get an answer, making me wonder if there truly is a need to show a photo ID when voting. It brought to mind the cliché, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it."
If the Amendment passes, there are many details that our Legislature must address to carry it out. Undoubtedly, there will be millions of dollars of added costs to our election process - beyond simply printing the "free" IDs. Is that where our tax dollars should be spent?
If the amendment passes, it may be that Minnesota could no longer provide the service of "Election Day Registration." Do you know anybody who has used "Election Day Registration?" How many votes would be lost because of citizens moving in the days before Election Day?
It has been suggested that a military ID would not meet the requirements as a government-issued ID. How many servicemen and women would lose their right to vote as a result? Is there not irony in that?
Elderly men and women who are unable to present a birth certificate to prove where they were born would not be able to get a proper photo ID. Married, divorced, and widowed women who are unable to document their name changes would be further disadvantaged. I don't want to walk down that path.
Ponder this. How many people temporarily working or traveling abroad would no longer be able to request an absentee ballot because they are unable to present themselves with their photo ID in their home county? Just how would absentee balloting work?
If the Voter ID Constitutional Amendment was based on a truly wholesome premise, wouldn't the major political parties embrace it equally? Since they clearly don't, does this suggest that one party would benefit more from having the Amendment pass?
The numerous yet-to-be identified and unintended consequences of the Voter ID Constitutional Amendment suggest to me that such a significant change to our state's Constitution should not be made. There must be a better way to address the concerns of those who have proposed the amendment.
To put in place an amendment that would deny even one citizen's right to vote dishonors what the United States of America is about.