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Letter: Vote no on amendments

In the next general election, voters will be asked to vote on two constitutional questions. You should vote no on both. We should not put in the constitution items that can be taken care of by passing laws.

The amendment concerning voter ID is an example of something that sounds good at first, but should not be passed under any circumstance. This would disenfranchise our service men and women, college students and people in precincts using mail in ballots. (34 in Cass Co., and several in Hubbard, for example). It does not recognize the ID cards issued by reservations or provide for people who have no birth certificates. (For example, born black in a southern state, or at home in many instances, or in cases of fire in county court records and other lost birth records). If one lost their license or wallet, which can happen, or has one of those yellow paper ones you get as temporary, or forgot to take a license along to the polls, they would not be allowed to vote, even if the person charged with checking identification knew them well. It would however, not stop felons with driver's licenses from voting.

In a time that we talk about cutting budgets and saving money, remember that this amendment is not free. In our township, it would require adding the cost of 8 judges and their training and spending unknown dollars on equipment and storage. All of this for less than 70 voters who currently vote by mail. All of the voters are known by each other but the amendment would require giving up the mail ballot and checking each person for an ID. Use of the ID would be a needless expense. Remember also that the state would have to spend millions on this project.

One recent writer claims that the only ones that can not vote legally are "illegals and they are voting!" His source is "the traditional values advocacy group, Minnesota Majority," which is the Republican party, and he claims they found 1,099 who illegally voted in the 2008 election. Remember, there were 3.7 million votes cast and carefully recounted with Republican lawyers and observers watching and the number voting with false ID was 0. There were a number of challenges that were ultimately dropped or ruled false by the Republican dominated Minninnesota Supreme Court. The same action took place in 2010 and the number voting with false ID was again 0. A very small number of felons who thought their rights had been restored may have voted, but remember, the ID requirement might not stop them.

Vote no on the expensive and needless voter ID!

Norman Leistikow

Park Rapids