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Posts Tagged ‘vote suppression’

The Strib Finally Joins Outstate Minnesota Papers In Noticing The Huge Costs And Problems Of ALEC’s Voter ID Amendment

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 9, 2012

I was pleasantly surprised this week to see that the StarTribune had finally, nearly six months after papers in Greater Minnesota first sounded the alarms, deigned to notice what a mess the proposed ALEC “Voter ID” voter suppression amendment would make of both elections and county budgets. Despite my misgivings, a friend of mine tried posting variations of the following over in the comments sections at the Strib, but for some reason — possibly a reluctance to credit my friend Sally Jo Sorensen with anything, much less the story of the year — those comments never made it past the Strib’s comment minders. So here is what the StarTribune won’t tell you:

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Glad to see that the StarTribune is finally on this story.

Greater Minnesota counties and the news media that serve them are in a panic over the huge holes that this vote-suppressing ALEC Amendment will blow in their budgets, which have already been stressed by Republican budget cuts — first by Tim Pawlenty, then by the Republicans in the state legislature.

The Fergus Falls Journal said “no” to it back in March of this year: http://www.fergusfallsjournal.com/2012/03/23/city-voter-id-costly-mandate/

Last month, it was Rice County, which will get socked for $120,000: http://www.bluestemprairie.com/bluestemprairie/2012/08/faribault-daily-news-photo-id-amendment-voting-system-overhaul-could-cost-rice-co-120000.html

Then, it was Kittson County, which has fewer than 5,000 residents, who will somehow have to shoulder $720,000 in extra costs levied by this amendment that does nothing to stop the sort of fraud its creators say it would stop: http://www.bluestemprairie.com/bluestemprairie/2012/09/voter-restriction-amendment-would-cost-kittson-county-730000-mfu-president-doug-peterson-on-amendmen.html

Then the Marshall Independent weighed in against it, asking “Why are we even bothering with this?”: http://www.bluestemprairie.com/bluestemprairie/2012/09/marshall-independent-editorial-slams-voter-suppression-amendment-why-are-we-even-bothering-with-this.html

Now even the deeply conservative McLeod County Chronicle rejects it, stating “Blatant political maneuvering should have no permanent place in Minnesota’s constitution”: http://www.bluestemprairie.com/bluestemprairie/2012/09/mcleod-co-chronicle-editor-on-photo-id-amendment-blatant-political-maneuvering-should-have-no-perman.html

Here’s the irony: When Tim Pawlenty was governor, he vetoed, with the backing of Minnesota Republicans in the legislature, a plan by Mark Ritchie that would actually have dealt more effectively with fraud — and for far less money — than this current Kiffmeyer-backed ALEC-crafted amendment. The reason given? Kiffmeyer said it would cost too much. Seriously: http://www.bluestemprairie.com/bluestemprairie/2012/07/if-mary-kiffmeyer-couldnt-smell-fraud-when-it-was-right-under-her-nose-how-are-we-to-trust-her-and-m.html

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How Much Will The MN GOP’s “Voter ID” Amendment Cost Minnesotans? Between $49 and $139 Million.

Posted by Phoenix Woman on September 5, 2012

In case, after witnessing the walking bounced checks that are Tony Sutton and the Republican Party of Minnesota, you needed any further proof that Republicans in general, and Minnesota Republicans in particular, should never be trusted with Other People’s Money — here you go:

Yesterday, Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota (CEIMN) and Hamline University professor David Schultz released Cost of Minnesota’s Election Amendment.

[…]

According to group’s press release, the amendment is going to be costly to state and local government:

The report estimates that if the amendment is adopted state and local governments will need to spend between $33 million and $67 million to comply with its likely requirements and that individuals who currently lack a government identification will need to spend between $16 million and $72 million to get the documents necessary for the free ID if they wish to vote.

The proposed amendment would mandate the showing of a government-issued ID when voting. According to Kathy Bonnifield, Executive Director of CEIMN, “The amendment could make significant changes to Minnesota’s elections, affecting mail-in voting,
absentee voting, and Election Day Registration, and introduce provisional balloting.” 

The estimated cost to local governments is between $23 million and $53 million. Counties with mail-in precincts will be impacted at a greater rate than counties that do not have mail-in precincts. For example, the estimated cost to Renville County, with 9,000 registered voters and no mail-in precincts, is between $46,000 and $150,000 while the cost estimate for Roseau
County, with 8,700 registered voters and eight mail-in precincts, is between $200,000 and $300,000.

So, state and local governments will have to spend between $33 million and $67 million, and individuals who don’t currently have what Mary Kiffmeyer would consider proper ID would have to shell out between $16 million and $72 million to get all the documents needed to successfully apply for the “free” ID.

All for something that doesn’t stop the sort of fraud Republicans claim it would stop, but will make it a lot harder for college kids, seniors, and veterans to vote.

You can read the full report here.

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MN GOP Wants To Spend Your Tax $ To Keep You From Voting

Posted by Phoenix Woman on February 8, 2011

Seriously, that’s what they want to do:

This omnibus bill contains a wide range of expansive and expensive election law changes. Careful research and analysis of this bill will certainly be necessary to determine the exact cost and impact on local and state governments. For instance, connecting 5,000 electronic poll books statewide could cost more than $20 million. The bill’s implications will also be analyzed by groups who would be affected including absentee and military voters, seniors, and voters with disabilities.

At a time when lawmakers are looking to streamline government and create efficiencies, HF 210 includes many proposals that would significantly increase the state’s budget deficit and create higher on-going costs for cities, counties and townships.

This bill is an expensive vision for elections. It is important that we approach the administration of elections in a fiscally responsible manner that avoids increasing costs or shifting costs to already budget-strapped local governments to be paid by increased property taxes.

Indeed. It’s also a way to keep certain groups that traditionally vote Democratic from being able to vote.

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