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Voter ID—Let's Be Honest: People Aren't Always Honest

Voter ID: It's time to stop being Minnesota nice.

There have been a lot of articles out there about the Voter ID Amendment. This is one more.

In Minnesota our voter registration is based on the honor system. It is based on the person registering as being someone who is honest about being a citizen, honest about their current address, honest that they are not a convicted felon, and honest about not voting in more than one place.

As someone who has worked as an election judge in the past, I have seen many questionable situations and heard many stories of questionable practices throughout the metro area. As a judge, we were told we could never ask anyone if they were a citizen. We were told, we had to depend on people being honest when they signed the statement saying they were a citizen, even though they may not be able to read English so they may not know what they are signing.

Another judge talked about one person bringing in several van loads of people and vouching for them all.

Another person witnessed an incident only 20 minutes into the voting day, another resident complained that someone else had signed on their line, stealing their vote.

Another person claimed they went to bring their parent, who was in a nursing home, to vote but found out someone else had "helped" their parent vote.

Another person stated there had been over 50 voter registration cards returned. All 50 voters claimed a one bedroom apartment as their address.  Now, if they all truly lived there, that is another problem!

There are also the cases where someone has moved. Filed the appropriate voter registration card in plenty of time but another person going to their old polling place saw their name was still listed at the old polling place but it also was in the new polling place.  

With over 11,000 voter registration cards returned as unverifiable in 2008, how is this not a problem? Especially when some elections were determined by 300 votes or less.

The claim that we only have a 156 "convicted" voter fraud cases is true but Minnesota law is based on honesty. First, they have to find you, providing you gave a somewhat valid address and valid name. If by some chance they do find you and you go before a judge, as long as you claim that you "didn't know" that you were ineligible to vote the chances of getting convicted are very slim. Of those convicted, those 156 people were the only ones who were honest about voting illegally.

When ineligible voters are deciding elections, it is the eligible voters who are being disenfranchised. Keep that in mind when you are looking at the voter ID Amendment.

You've all heard the analogies: You need an ID to go to school, buy liquor, buy cigarettes, go see your doctor, get car tabs, get a bank account, apply for food stamps, rent an apartment, get a marriage license, etc, etc, etc. ...

If you feel that a vote is a right and a privilege and that every eligible citizen should get one vote and that vote should be protected from those that are ineligible: vote yes. If you feel that you don't care and skip this vote, you are voting "no." Keep that in mind when you go to the polls on Tuesday.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

AKA November 07, 2012 at 06:04 AM
Which of the anecdotes you listed is an actual case of voter fraud? I see none that are, without further facts to support them, which you have not provided. Here is a fact: The 156 number you referenced is mostly comprised of voting by convicted felons. The author of the amendment acknowledges that this amendment will NOT do anything to actually prevent those people from continuing to register or vote. Any actions on this issue should be taken on facts, not assertions.

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