There is little doubt that soon, if it hasn’t already happened, Republicans will propose the bill in Minnesota to require voter’s to provide a state issued photo ID to vote. The mantra coming from one Republican after another is that “it is reasonable” or it is “common-sense.” State Senator Dave Thompson told me it was reasonable, I’ve heard it on the radio and I’ve seen several comments on blogs and stories using those terms.
I’m not going to say it isn’t reasonable, because without knowing the details of how it affects some people, on the surface and with a little slick talk, it seems reasonable to most of the public. But, it isn’t right. By establishing a photo ID rule we are eliminating the voting rights of citizens for no reason other than they don’t have a photo ID. Maybe they can’t afford to get an ID. Maybe they are confined to their home or a nursing home. Maybe they are paranoid of the government. There are plenty of reasons a person might not get one.
So let’s call this bill what it is, plain and simple it is an anti-voting bill. It is direct disenfranchisement. After all, the intent of this bill is to prevent people from voting – period. It does nothing to encourage voting. And it does little to prevent the biggest chance for voting fraud to have a significant impact on an election, vote count manipulation.
There are less drastic changes that can be made to quell the Republican paranoid fears of voter fraud if they were being reasonable. So let’s be honest and reasonable and be truthful by saying there is little chance for wide spread voter fraud to occur, and even less chance that it will affect an outcome.
If Republicans want to use the “it could happen” argument, why are we taking chances by not funding early child hood education and properly funding our kids education. There is far better evidence as to what sort of outcomes these produce. And there is a much greater “chance” that “unfunding” students to give tax cuts to corporations will negatively affect our state more than a political zealot voting multiple times in an election.