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MN Voter ID: Costs Million$, Keeps 1000s Of Legal Voters From Voting, Useless As Anti-Felon Tool

Posted by Phoenix Woman on August 26, 2012

Sally Jo Sorensen passes along the following:

Faribault Daily News staff reporter Joseph Lindberg reports in Pricetag for voter ID in Rice County could surpass $120,000:

If Minnesota voters this November approve a
constitutional amendment requiring a valid photo ID to cast a ballot,
the equipment election officials would use to verify voter data could
cost more than $120,000 in Rice County alone.

Electronic “pollbooks,” a term
that generally refers to hardware and software used to process voter
information, would likely be used at the county’s 31 voting precincts at
an estimated cost of $4,000 each, according to Fran Windschitl, Rice
County auditor/treasurer. . . . .

The county’s cost hinges on how much time the amendment, if passed,
would give counties to process provisional ballots cast by those who
don’t bring ID to the polling place but cast a vote and verify their
personal data later.

Even if a longer time period is approved — other
states range from three to 14 days — and pollbooks aren’t needed, the
staff time to process ballots would be considerable, Windschitl said.

Sorensen goes on to note that back in 2009, when Democrats proposed sensible election reform legislation that, unlike the ALEC-sponsored voter ID amendment, have actually worked to keep felons from illegally voting, and done so far more cheaply and with far less bureaucratic hassle, the Republican then-governor Tim Pawlenty vetoed it.

Now, Rice County isn’t the smallest of Minnesota’s eighty-seven counties, but it’s also not the biggest. Extrapolate Rice County’s experience to the rest of the state, and it’s obvious that we’d be looking at a minimum of $10 million being spent to enforce a law that has as its main effect keeping tens of thousands of legal voters from being able to vote and which would do nothing to stop felons from illegally voting.

Minnesotans shouldn’t be too surprised by this. As we’ve seen from the glacial and sometimes questionable response of the Republican Party of Minnesota to requests for payment by the various counties whose staffs the RPM forced to work overtime on a recount that wound up confirming Mark Dayton’s win, Minnesota Republicans have no problems with sticking the counties of Greater Minnesota with the bills for GOP-caused voting expenditures.

3 Responses to “MN Voter ID: Costs Million$, Keeps 1000s Of Legal Voters From Voting, Useless As Anti-Felon Tool”

  1. Charles II said

    It’s not clear to me why felons should not be allowed to vote.

    • MEC said

      Because so many of them are members of minority groups, of course.

    • Here’s the law, per the MN SoS’s office:

      To be eligible to vote in Minnesota you must:

      be at least 18-years-old on Election Day
      be a citizen of the United States
      have resided in Minnesota for 20 days immediately preceding Election Day
      have any felony conviction record discharged, expired, or completed
      not be under court-ordered guardianship where a court has revoked your voting rights
      have not been ruled legally incompetent by a court of law

      Most convicted and released felons have had their convictions dealt with as described above. For those that haven’t, only a tiny number — maybe a few dozen out of over four million voting-age persons — actually attempt to vote, and are generally caught trying to do so.

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