Driving County Roads

An on line journal sharing my views. The content reflects my background as a rural person employed in agriculture and as a retired elected official of local government.

Thursday, April 05, 2012

Voter I.D.

It looks like we may have the opportunity to vote on an amendment to our state Constitution which would require voters to show a photo identification before voting. Of course, this bill which passed both the Minnesota House and Senate will have to meet the test of the Courts first. That may take awhile. There will be much arguing on both sides for sure!

I wonder if the folks who are supporting this idea have ever worked as election judges. I have not had the opportunity. But I know folks who are judges and have had discussions with several civic minded people who do this worthwhile job. If this amendment passes, it will demand that these good hearted people must tell some folks that they are not able to vote like everyone else because they do not have a photo I.D.

"You do not have a photo I.D., so you can vote using this different kind of ballot. It is called a 'provisional ballot'. And then when you come back with your I.D. to the Court House (whenever) (and the voter could be as much as 40 or more miles away from the Court House) then your 'provisional ballot' will be counted."

This puts these election judges(who are many times neighbors) in the uncomfortable position of denying citizens of their right to vote which is almost a sacred thing. They will be in the position of real judges and juries.

This is only one scenario. In Nicollet County we have one precinct that votes by mail, how does one present a photo I.D. when voting by mail? The same could be said for absentee ballots. And the list goes on. No wonder some have called it the Chaos Amendment.

Then the biggest question of all is WHO PAYS? In all of the debate about this proposed amendment there has been no mention of the cost. And do not let anyone tell you that there will be no cost or the cost will be minimal. There will be cost and if this amendment passes, the local precincts will be stuck with paying for administering a system that was never needed in the first place. end


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