Reasons to vote no on Photo ID amendment

To the Editor:

I am asking voters to vote no to the Photo ID amendment for the following reasons:

• The amendment is complicated. It includes much more than a photo ID requirement.

• It is poorly written. Key matters aren’t addressed. What kinds of photo IDs will be permitted? How will absentee voters and Election Day registrants be affected?

• The amendment has unintended consequences. It creates hurdles for voters such as older Minnesotans in nursing homes and our military serving overseas.

• The amendment would be an unfunded mandate. It would raise costs for local governments, meaning higher property taxes or cuts in other important services, because local governments would bear the brunt of the costs for the new system of provisional balloting.

The most frequent type of charge is felons who vote before their civil rights have been restored. This could not be prevented by photo ID. Most of the alleged fraud is due to clerical errors, data matching mistakes or misunderstandings.

Our election system has many checks and balances in place to ensure the integrity of our elections. Can we do more? Of course we can.

But it should be about improving our processes for registering voters and maintaining our lists, about recruiting more election judges and ensuring that they are well-trained in current law, and about making sure that felons who have had their right to vote taken away know when and how they get it back.

Procedures will change as technology changes. Putting a procedure or process into our Constitution does not make sense.  The Constitution gives us the right to vote. How we implement and oversee that right does not belong in the Constitution.

To learn more, please go online to http://www.ourvoteourfuture.org/.

Jeanne Walz

League of Woman Voters of Chisago County

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