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Voter ID is costly, bad idea

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Some legislators sponsoring a voter identification bill appear to be promoting a solution that is looking for a problem, as well as attempting to create another expensive state mandate. 

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Republican legislators have introduced a bill that would require Minnesotans to show a driver’s photo ID, state-issued photo ID or a tribal-issued ID that would be instantly scanned to determine if the voter was eligible to vote and was attempting to vote in the correct precinct. 

This proposal is simply an attempt to manipulate the voting process for political purposes to address an issue which is not a major problem in Minnesota. 

In addition, this proposal would simply make it harder for Minnesotans to vote, especially elderly, disabled, young and minority voters. 

Minnesota should be encouraging voters to participate in the voting process, not making it harder and more difficult to vote. 

In making the case for this voter ID, Limmer spoke of his suspicions of the Minnesota voting process, citing the example of an election judge driving around with election ballots in the car trunk. This story is an election myth that has been disproven. In addition, there is no way this voter ID bill would address that type of violation. 

Vogel could not cite any voter problem in west central Minnesota in justifying his support for the bill. Yet he claims that the significant cost of this proposed voter ID bill is justified. 

The bill sponsors on Wednesday would not estimate the cost of this bill. Some media reports indicate the cost would be between $20 million and $40 million. After the 2008 election, there were 38 individuals identified and convicted of voter fraud. Using the low estimate of $20 million, this voter identification plan would cost local government in Minnesota $530,000 per conviction. 

A $530,000 per case solution to solve a minimal problem in Minnesota? That is not a very good cost justification for another state mandate. 

 This bill is simply a costly bad idea. 

— West Central Tribune

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Becca Clemens
After graduating high school in 2004, I attended Central Lakes College in Staples, MN for 2 years where I got a diploma in Communication Art and Design. I then transfered up to Bemidji State University in, you guessed it, Bemidji, MN. In the spring of 2009, I graduated from BSU. Then in the fall of 2009 I got a job at Echo Publishing, a sister company to the Brainerd Dispatch.
(218) 855-5878
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