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MN Majority: Protecting Us From the .004%

Category: Voting
Posted: 10/15/11 11:45, Edited: 10/15/11 11:49

by Dave Mindeman

Minnesota Majority has been on a relentless campaign to protect Minnesota from "rampant" voter fraud.

I guess you could say they are shielding us from the .004%.

The number of voter fraud convictions for the 2008 election is 113. That is .004% of the number of people that voted in that election. Even less if you compare that to the number of eligible voters in the state.

I think what we need here is a little dose of reality. So let's consider the following.

1. Voter suppression. If you are going to bring up voter fraud then it would seem only fair that voter suppression be analyzed as well. Maybe MN Majority could use some of their funding to see how many students were blocked from voting in the college precincts. Or how many minorities were told they could not vote by fraudulent ads or misinformation campaigns. Or how many handicapped voters were kept from voting because of a lack of access at the polls. Or how many registrations didn't happen because of language barriers. Think those things were less than .004%?

2. System Thorougly Examined. During the Coleman-Franken challenge, the Minnesota system was scrutinized like no other state system in the country. The idea of voter fraud was brought up...in fact the only actual fraud raised in the trial was one felon who did not know he was not allowed to vote...and he voted for Coleman. The only real flaws in the system that were examined to any great length was the absentee voter system. Corrections were made based on the information that came forward. The system is even better than before.

3. The Right to Vote. Our democratic system demands that we make voting an easily, accessible practice. We need to be looking for ways to encourage voting...to make it easier to vote....to get more and more people to vote. MN Majority is examining ways to make it harder. With more obstacles. To get fewer people involved. This is absolutely wrong. If we have any actual problems (and I do mean actual), then we look for the best way to correct it without burdening the vast majority of legal and rightful voters in this state.

4. Wisconsin. Wisconsin has already passed a Voter ID law that will be implemented fully in 2012. The tests that have been done on the application of this legislation have been a miserable failure. Some of the problems are fixable, but the probability of long lines and precinct overload are much too real. Truly, I can see no justification for the creation of another bureaucracy (yes, Republicans, another bureaucracy) and expense involved in the exercise of a free democratic process to prevent a .004% problem.

5. Priority? And finally, is this a problem that ranks higher than the major issues we already face? Is a .004% problem more important than our budget? Is that .004% a bigger deal than health care? Does that .004% compare with 9% unemployment? Is .004% a bigger issue than education cuts and shifts? Seriously, why does this deserve any attention at all?

Minnesota Majority has been trying to justify a solution to a non-existent problem. Minnesota has the best election sytem in the entire country. They have statistics to prove it. And granted, you cannot be perfect, and there is always someone trying to beat the system. But, truly, our elections are not something I worry about.

Minnesota doesn't need protection from the .004%

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MN GOP Should Be Watching Wisconsin Voter Law

Category: Voting
Posted: 10/14/11 15:40

by Dave Mindeman

I hope our Minnesota Republican legislators are watching the Wisconsin implementation of their voter ID law. The start of it has been less than auspicious.

In regards to Minnesota, I see no need for any law of this type in the first place...our system works and works well. But even I was surprised at the level of problems that the Wisconsin test runs on their version of voter "integrity" is showing.

In a major Presidential election, the sheer number of voters will overwhelm this system and the number of voters who will need the extra servicing and checking will back up lines for hours.

I have been certain that the GOP insistence on these additional hurdles for voting has been an effort to hold down Democratic constituencies. But even the GOP may have to re-evaluate a system that could cause hundreds, even thousands, of voters to give up on the process altogether.

As a furthur insult, Wisconsin estimates that the new voter ID law will create additional costs of over $7.5 million.

Extra costs....longer lines....bigger headaches....and voter anger.

Sounds like a great combination of added problems that will come from a solution in search of something to correct.
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Sensationalizing Voter Issues

Category: Voting
Posted: 02/08/11 20:13

by Dave Mindeman

I do a semi-regular radio segment on the Nancy Nelson show - AM950 on Tuesday evenings, usually around 5:50pm.

Its about an 8 to 10 minute segment....not much time to discuss a subject in any depth but time to headline an issue.

Today we talked a bit about the Voter ID bill that is getting an inrodinate amount of time in the legislature these days. It is, as Governor Dayton stated, a solution in search of an issue.

Well, during the final minute of this radio segment a caller came on who laid out his reasons for having voter ID. He said that a Voter ID card was necessary because of the fraudulent use of victimizing "senile" senior citizens in nursing homes by having them "sign" a ballot and the "signed" document could be used to cast a fraudulent vote.

Well, since the music was already playing and Nancy had put in few comments that were relevant, I didn't push to refute what this character said, but I hope that a rational person can see how off base this was.

First of all, to my constant irritation, this guy starts off by saying the same old line.... "there is documentation" that blah, blah blah. I wanted to jump into the phone and yell, "where is it?" Where is this documentation? Prove it! Prove it! Prove it!

Secondly, no such scenario is possible. A nursing home individual would have to obtain an absentee ballot and there are other rules involving that. No Voter ID law would even apply to such a thing ..except in the original registration.

This is the way this issue has been addressed from the beginning. The Republicans have invested a lot of political capital into making this an issue and in order to get it higher up the ladder, they have been forced to "sensationalize" the problem.

Don't we have more urgent problems? Seriously, don't we?
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