Minnesota voter restriction amendment would be ‘double whammy’ for African-American seniors


Calling the proposed Minnesota Constitutional amendment to show a state issued ID at the voting booth a, “double whammy” for African Americans and senior citizens, members of the Minnesota AARP marched alongside other opponents of the voter restriction amendment to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Park. 

The march was organized by school board candidate Tracine Asbury, who says that this issue is a civil rights issue and has an unknown impact on voters in her community. She recalled the long fight Dr. King, women’s rights groups and others had waged to broaden the right the vote to all adult US citizens. 

“The fact that we’re having to address this again is very telling. It’s very concerning,” said Asbury.

Park Board gets politically involved

The Minneapolis Park Board, another organizer, also condemned the voter restriction amendment. John Erwin, Park Board President says that this was a rare move on the board’s part.

“The Park Board has a long been an advocate to get as many people to vote as possible. And this issue of voter ID flies in the face of that,” said Erwin.

Dr. Lowery M. Johnson, the Minnesota State president of the AARP says the proposed voter restriction amendment would be a very harsh for seniors. He questioned whether or not the free IDs promised would be indeed free.

“The government has to put some money in it to make it free,” explained Johnson. Republican authors of the constitutional amendment say the legislature would need to address that issue should the amendment get voters approval in November.

Johnson also likened the proposed amendment to the civil rights struggles when blacks were denied the right to vote.

“It reminds me of the voting rights in the south where blacks had to pay a toll charge to vote. So it’s a double whammy for African Americans and for seniors,” he said.