Voter ID bill is vote suppression


As you may recall, I warned that the MN GOP would provide all kinds of distractions because they cannot create any jobs or balance the state’s budget.  Well, here’s another.

The Minnesota Senate has passed a Voter ID bill.  Championed by the voter suppression organization Minnesota Majority, it faces certain veto from Gov. Mark Dayton.

Republicans want to make sure that fewer Minnesotans can vote.  In a moment of unguarded candor, House Speaker Zellers argued that he doesn’t believe that voting should be a right.  Never ever forget that Republicans don’t want everyone to vote.

This bill would affect around 144,000 Minnesotans right to vote.  Think about it. Franken won by 312.  Dayon won by 3,000+.  Preventing 100,000+ from voting would definitely favor the Republicans.  When more people vote in MN, the DFL candidates do better.

“Back in December, before the Legislative Session began, the new Republican majority made a promise to Minnesotans: they would maintain a “laser focus” on fixing the state’s budget deficit,” Senate Minority Leader Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook) said.  “In February, the line from Republican leaders was that they’d “focus very specifically and almost without any other distractions, solely on the budget.”

“In March, Republican leaders reminded us they were still “focused on the budget,” Bakk continued.  “Just two days ago, one member of the Senate Republican Caucus said we needed to be focused on the budget, and not on sending bills Gov. Dayton is likely to veto.”

“Don’t be fooled,” Bakk reminded.  “This bill has nothing to do with election integrity.  Minnesota leads the nation in voter participation and election integrity.  Our elections system has been crafted through bipartisan legislation and has withstood the test of three statewide recounts.  No cases of voter impersonation have ever been identified in Minnesota, which is the only kind of fraud this bill would prevent.”

“In fact, the bill’s own author could not identify a single problem the bill would solve,” Bakk concluded.

In 2008, a survey of county attorneys in Minnesota found only 38 cases of voter fraud – of which, 100 percent were cases of felons voting. The photo ID legislation does nothing to stop felons from voting, as no form of photo identification in Minnesota lists a person’s criminal past.

“I can’t understand how Republicans think we can afford to spend money to stop people from voting, at the same time we’re cutting funding for schools, colleges, and health care for our most vulnerable citizens,” said Sen. Katie Sieben (DFL-Newport).

I can understand, Sen. Sieben.  They call it an unfunded mandate.  Republicans love them.  They’ll just force the local government units to pick up the bill.  Viola!

“Republicans claim they support voter ID for election integrity, but this bill is all about gaining an advantage for their party and turning certain voters away from the polls,” said Sieben.  “They’re using public tax dollars to stop seniors, students, and low-income Minnesotans from voting.  This is just another example of the misplaced priorities we’ve seen from the Republican legislative majorities.”