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MN GOP’s Voter ID Plan Would Cost Two Rural Counties Nearly $1 Million

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 2, 2012

Not only is Minnesota’s Kiffmeyered amendment version of ALEC’s voter restriction (aka “Photo ID”) model bill useless at stopping the sort of voter fraud it’s touted as stopping, it would also be ruinously expensive for state and local governments to enact.

The steep expense of the Photo ID amendment if it passes was first noticed in the case of Rice County, which would be out around $120,000 — a big financial blow for a largely-rural county of less than 65,000 souls. As bad as that is, it’s much worse for Minnesota’s Kittson County, which is even more rural than Rice: The 4,552 residents of Kittson County would, if this Photo ID amendment passes, get socked with a $730,000 bill.

That’s right, folks: The good folk of Kittson County are being asked by the Minnesota Republican Party to shell out $160 for every man, woman and child in the county, and to pay for something that won’t fight fraud but will make it harder for legal voters like shut-ins, veterans, and college kids to vote.

Worst of all: Rice and Kittson are only two of Minnesota’s eighty-seven counties, and not very big in terms of population. Imagine what the other eighty-five counties (and their taxpayers) will be paying.

All so the Republicans can try to screw a few tens of thousands of Minnesotans out of their right to vote.

(Crossposted to MyFDL.)


7 Responses to “MN GOP’s Voter ID Plan Would Cost Two Rural Counties Nearly $1 Million”

  1. Charles II said

    This is why I advise Democrats not to resist voter ID, but to force the state to pay the full costs, including if necessary visiting disabled or elderly or just very busy people to take the picture.

    I bet people who don’t currently have ID would love to have it if it were paid for by the state.

    • It’s a blatant violation of the Voting Rights Act. One of the giveaways is the strong historical opposition on the part of Mary Kiffmeyer, ALEC’s point woman in Minnesota and Secretary of State under Tim Pawlenty, to the use of tribal IDs for off-reservation voting, even though such IDs are perfectly OK under the Voting Rights Act.

  2. richmx2 said

    The cost per voter in the U.S: is about one dollar. In Mexico, when a voter ID system was put in place, the per voter cost went to nearly six dollars (it has been dropping… slowly… as the initial development costs are amortized). That was a federal project, which meant the software development, systems logistics, card development and production, etc. was much simpler, voter qualifications and or election regulations being defined at the federal level. In the U.S., each state having a different system, and different standards, the costs per voter could be significantly higher. And let’s not even get into costs of the lawsuits that would invariably follow any implementation project.

    • Charles II said

      It’s not that simple, Rich. The voter ID laws are ostensibly to ban non-citizens from voting. That means proof of citizenship is part of the costs. Typically this means getting a birth certificate at a cost of, say, $20-$150. And, of course, as a practical matter, one can usually only do so online, so it gets to be impossible for the elderly, the poor, and the disabled.

  3. “Obviously, this will disenfranchise voters, but isn’t that the point of the exercise?”

    It is, but the Republicans pushing this try not to admit it — at least, not in so many words.

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