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(POLL) Latz: GOP Voter ID Proposals Target DFL Voters

The state senator rejects Republican claims that the measure is needed to combat voter fraud.

Sen. Ron Latz (DFL-District 44) slammed Republican voter ID proposals, saying the GOP is pushing for the measures in order to create barriers for groups likely to vote for DFL candidates.

Latz—who represents Hopkins, St. Louis Park and Golden Valley—scoffed at claims that the measures are intended to prevent voter fraud. He doesn’t see any problems with the current voting procedures that need to be fixed.

“There are almost zero instances of someone trying to impersonate another voter—almost zero,” Latz said.

The voter ID proposal has become the latest issue to divide Republicans and DFLers. Numerous people testified for hours Wednesday in a Senate hearing about a proposed constitutional amendment that would require photo ID.

Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer (R-District 16B), of Big Lake, who authored the House version, said earlier that the measure is simply a sensible way to better regulate the voting process and ensure no one votes fraudulently.

A poll done by Marquette University–Wisconsin indicated that the majority of the registered voters they asked (a sample size of 701 registered voters) said they favored the law.

But Latz and other voter ID critics say it creates obstacles for many residents—including seniors, students, members of the armed forces and the poor.

Beth Fraser, who represented Secretary of State Mark Ritchie’s office at Wednesday’s hearing, said the changes could hurt more than 700,000 Minnesotans—noting that 215,000 eligible Minnesota voters aren’t registered to vote and as many as 500,000 people register at the polls on election day.

Lawmakers , but Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed it—sparking this year’s push for a constitutional amendment that would bypass the governor and take the issue straight to voters.

The tactic is one that Republicans are doing with other issues—and it’s something that has frustrated DFLers. Latz said Republicans are making an end run around the normal checks and balances just because they lost the gubernatorial election.

“I think that’s obnoxious what they’re trying to do with this and other amendment,” he said.

Elaine Wynne February 05, 2012 at 03:54 PM
Thanks so much for this article, Senator Latz. I agree these cards would disenfranchise a significant # of voters. IF THE public understood the cost of this change, they would not vote in such high %ages in favor of it. My understanding of last year's bill is that at least a million $ would be billed to the State of MN. Then the rest of the cost (estimated by the sponsor of the bill at around $2 million at the time would be covered by counties, townships, etc., etc. League of Women Voters was opposed to the bill (as their website shows) and at that time, they estimated it would cost $1,000 per PRECINCT to do the changes necessary. I THINK WE SHOULD ALL SUPPORT SEN. LATZ AND REP. WINKLER TO STOP THIS BILL BEFORE IT BECOMES ANOTHER AMENDMENT TO VOTE ON IN THE FALL. (AS SEN. LATZ SAYS "IT'S AN END RUN BECAUSE THE GOP LOST THE GOVERNORSHIP.) County Atty. Mike Freeman estimates possibly 30 voter fraud cases were shown to have some merit in Hennepin County. We have a fantastic state -- the highest percentage of registered voters vote. We need to keep increasing those numbers, not increasing the barriers.
Dennis Holman February 05, 2012 at 07:48 PM
Voter turnout has IMPROVED in states that has implemented photo ID verification of voters. Trust in the election process brings more legitimate voters to the polls. The argument that denies voter impersonation in MN is hollow. Since voter present NO identification, there is no way to verify the level of deception that exists each election day. Photo ID would bring transparency to the Minnesota election process and verify election integrity. Regarding disenfranchisement -- it doesn't happen. This argument was rejected by the Supreme Court (Crawford v. Marion County Elections Board). The leftists know this, but they're hoping that the lie will be believed by enough uninformed voters. Why are liberals so opposed to photo ID legislation? It would reduce the number of tools available for them to rig elections (when was the last time you saw conservatives engage in illegal election activities?) At present, about 80% of Minnesota voters favor election integrity in elections. They want their votes to count, not be cancelled by criminals.
Robin Scholer February 06, 2012 at 03:09 AM
The reasons were given in the article. It's not just liberals who are opposed to it, since there is no lack of integrity in our elections. This is not a pressing issue, but another example of a "solution" in search of a problem. Where will the money come from for this charade? Where are the jobs? I offer you this article. http://www.chron.com/opinion/outlook/article/Voter-ID-hits-the-voiceless-hardest-1613327.php
Dennis Holman February 06, 2012 at 04:19 AM
As much as the liberals would like this issue to go away, it won't. The stakes are too big. The statement that "there is no lack of integrity in our elections" would be laughably inaccurate if it weren't for the fact that this deception is not funny to those who are working toward honest representative government in Minnesota. The tired mantra of the left, "solution in search of a problem", has become monotonously boring. The relatively minor expense of implementing photo ID could easily be funded by cutting back funding for the light-rail transit boondoggle (now, THERE'S a REAL solution in search of a problem!).
Elaine Wynne February 06, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Thanks, Robin, for the article providing such good data from Texas.
Carol February 06, 2012 at 06:05 PM
The current GOP proposal isn't a good one. It doesn't specify what ID card would meet the requirements for showing an ID at the polls, and it specifies that it should be free (which the GOP knows there's no such thing as a "free" government service). That said something does need to change in MN since we're the only state that has _both_ same day registration & no voter ID requirement. You can have one or the other, but having both leaves us wide open for voter fraud. Since keeping the ballots secret & secure is the primary/highest requirement we should meet, it means we need to make sure that every ballot cast is valid one. You can't un-count ballots if it turns out there was voter fraud (unless you hold a second election). It hurts everyone if an election has any doubt cast on it, and it cost lots of money in recounts and challenges. It’s money that both parties would agree could be put to better use elsewhere. Although the current GOP proposal is terrible and shouldn't be voted in, please don't let that discourage you seeking ways to implement either the removal of same-day-registration or requiring a photo ID. Personally it seems easier to remove the same-day-registration. Elections are held on the same day each year, and have been. So it's not like people can't plan to be registered well in advance of the Election Day. If however people feel that lower income individuals would be significantly adversely affected then we must go the Photo ID route.
Kevin O'Donovan February 07, 2012 at 05:03 AM
Every legitimate vote has the value of"One". If an ineligible vote is cast it might negate the value of the legitimate vote. Regardless of any person's opinion on the issues before us, I am sure every voter wants their vote to count. I can't cite any statistics but I wonder how many votes were cast for the GOP Majority because the previous DFL Majority did not reflect the will of the citizens on this and other contentious issues. The current GOP proposal is admittedly an incomplete one. If the voters pass an amendment that requires Photo I.D.,the process for implementation, and what constitutes a valid I.D. will be addressed in a future legislative session.. Who wants their property taxes raised during any referendum, particularly if the legitimacy of the votes is questionable?
Dennis Holman February 07, 2012 at 05:09 PM
Registering others (like Tim Tebow and Tom Brady) and obtaining absentee ballots is easy in Minnesota. This video was just released: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqMVxeZhflI

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