I’ve been fielding some questions from people on Twitter regarding why they should consider voting no on the Voter ID amendment.
At a high level, I can see why requiring a photo ID doesn’t seem like a big deal, but this particular amendment is a poorly written bill that’s designed to disenfranchise students, the poor, homeless, and elderly rather than actually do anything for election integrity. Here’s how I see it:
1. In person fraudulent voting is extraordinarily rare because it balances a single vote against committing a felony. The penalties can be as high as 5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. The risk far outweighs the reward.
2. One can win elections by turning out more people in support – or fewer people opposed to – one’s position. The Photo ID bill does the latter.
3.Our polling systems could be modernized without suppressing legal voters. The @mngop rejected those options when they pushed this amendment onto the ballot. Read more on how this can be done here.
4. It’s clear to me that the intent of the PhotoID bill is voter suppression, but it’s being misleadingly sold as voting integrity.
5. There are also significant public costs to implementing the amendment, should it pass. This is money that could be spent on actual public services or lowering taxes rather than suppressing votes. Cary Griffith has a good breakdown of this on MinnPost.
Michael Brodkorb pointed out earlier today on his blog that it’s been 18 years since a Republican candidate has received 50% or more votes in a statewide election. One way that they could improve their odds of doing so in the future is to keep students, the elderly, and the poorest among us from casting ballots.
The PhotoID amendment is Un-Minnesotan and deserves a “No” vote.