Debunking the Myths
“Minorities, the poor and elderly will be disenfranchised by a photo ID requirement”
Besides the fact that this argument is insulting to many of the people who are characterized by it, the voter ID bill provides free ID that only needs to be renewed every four years. Seniors, 65 or older are provided an ID for life that never needs to be renewed and seniors in nursing homes will still be able to cast absentee ballots.
If you can fill out a form to register and to vote, you should be able to manage to fill out an ID application. The truth is, the state-subsidized ID provided by this bill will help integrate people who may be on the margins of society, into the mainstream, enabling them to get employment, open bank accounts and do all the other things people normally normally use their ID for in society. Most seniors, financially challenged people and minorities have an ID and there’s no reason to believe a person who happens to fall into any particular demographic isn’t fully capable of taking care of their own business. Holding them to lower expectations of societal functionality is insulting.
In fact, voter ID laws have been challenged in the U.S. and state Supreme Courts in recent years, and have been upheld as constitutional.
U.S. District Court Judge Harold Murphy, who initially blocked Georgia’s voter ID law with a temporary restraining order based upon the hyperbolic speculation of mass voter disenfranchisement by the League of Women Voters, Common Cause and the NAACP, wound up upholding the law after hearing the evidence.
Murphy found that the plaintiffs’ failure, despite their efforts, to uncover anyone “‘who can attest to the fact that he/she will be prevented from voting’ provides significant support for the conclusion that the Photo ID requirement does not unduly burden the right to vote.”
“Voter fraud is very rare – Voter ID is a solution in search of a problem”
Voter fraud is very hard to detect after the act. Most years Minnesota’s law enforcement prosecute only a few cases, not because there aren’t more perpetrators, but because the time and resources it requires to detect and prosecute are prohibitive. Minnesota Majority’s two-year research project revealed hundreds of ineligible voters that would not have been investigated or charged otherwise. After the 2008 election, out of 500,000 election day registrants, 23,000 of them were subsequently flagged for challenge in 2010, because their address was invalid. It’s much more efficient and effective to prevent fraud before it happens by requiring photo ID.
Confidence in the fair outcome of a legal election is essential to our democratic republic. 80% of the people want photo ID, indicating that most people don’t have full confidence in our elections. Photo ID will provide that confidence.
“Much of the fraud discovered in Minnesota involved ineligible voters, like convicted felons. Voter ID won’t prevent that.”
The comprehensive election bill before us does address ineligible voters by integrating modern pollbook solutions with photo ID. When a voter swipes their card to get a ballot, their eligibility will be instantly checked against computerized lists of known ineligible voters, like felons and non-citizens.
“A photo ID requirement will cost too much money.”
The electronic pollbook system will actually save the taxpayers money by streamlining the process, eliminating scores of paper records and labor-intensive hand data entry of hundreds of thousands of handwritten voter records.
“Minnesota already has the best election system in the nation.”
If that’s true, we’re in trouble. Minnesota is one of only two states that allow new voters to be vouched for without having to provide any identification and the only state that allows a single voter to vouch for up to 15 others – or under certain circumstances, unlimited numbers of other voters.
While some modern elements like optical ballot scanners and a centralized voter registration system have been implemented, much of Minnesota’s election system is a relic from bygone days that relies heavily on the “honor system.”
“Provisional Ballots Create Addtional Administrative Burdens and Prevent Some Votes From Being Counted”
Actually, provisional ballots are rarely used at all, but exist to guarantee voters the opportunity to cast a ballot even if they come unprepared to the polling place. Provisional ballots prevent disenfranchisement and ensure no one is turned away from the polls without the opportunity to cast a ballot.