The Voter ID Constitutional Amendment: Committing Personal Suicide With Your Right to Vote

The Vote Yes on the Constitutional Amendments campaigns preys on people who think only in the present and about themselves. These same people have by far the most to lose, long-term.

Playing frequently the last few days has been a 30 second commercial featuring seven supposed Minnesotans*, an older military veteran, a farmer, a young mother, a young African American, a construction worker, an apparent homemaker, an apparent young voter…all urging an affirmative vote on the Voter Suppression amendment Nov. 6.

How short-sighted these wholesome good-citizen looking folks are, I think.

They are being played for fools.

The website for the ad says that the group sponsoring it is “the official ballot committee established to pass the Minnesota Voter ID Amendment. Our founders have been leading the charge for Voter ID in Minnesota for the past 4 years”. There is no “ID” at the website about who those “founders” might happen to be. Nothing.

This is how well-funded stealth campaigns go.

Trick people into making bad and irreversible decisions that are suicidal later.

The “Vote No” side on this voter suppression issue, “Our Vote, Our Future“, is very transparent.

The “vote yes” actors and actresses – each of those who vote yes - in the long run have pretty high odds of being caught in the buzzsaw which they now want to construct and turn on.

Sometime they will lose their own right to vote.

Their own right to vote doesn’t seem in jeopardy now, but it won’t last. Something WILL happen that will nudge them off the voting rolls; something they do not at this moment anticipate will ever happen to them, or people they know.

The odds of their disenfranchising themselves is off-the-charts higher than the odds of “cheating” or “fraud” by someone else.

Here’s a personal example of how this amendment will likely work for those who naively think “it won’t happen to me”:

November 6 is the 26th biennial general election in which I’ve been eligible to vote.

The first, in 1962, I was 22 and in the United States Army (back then, you had to be 21 to vote.)

Personally, I’ve lived the last twelve years at the same address; I’m an ordinary individual; I haven’t had to deal with unplanned things, like hospitalizations and the like, near the time of an election.

But as I recalled those 26 elections, and where I was, then, in eight of the twenty-six – almost a third – I might have found myself outside the door, or provisionally voting, and by mistake or frustration simply not completing my vote.

And during those years I was just an ordinary individual, healthy, working, moving from place to place, etc.

In those 26 years, I only lived in my home state (my birth certificate state) one year, and in that year, I had been back for only three months, still a non-resident.

It takes time, effort and money to get a certified copy of one’s birth certificate.

For 36 of the years I lived in only four towns; but I lived in five other places as well in other years.

I relocated as most anyone else would relocate: job, marriage, new home or apartment, etc.

Those who think that suppressing someone else’s voting privileges will not some day adversely affect them personally are fools.

Vote NO on the voter suppression amendment, November 6.

* – I choose not to identify this website. Any Minnesotan who sees the TV ad will see the disclaimer, and can easily find it on the internet.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

David Salchow November 02, 2012 at 08:50 PM
I have a different perspective on the issue. The world has changed. We're forever striking a balance between personal freedoms and safety and security. 9/11, I believe, forever altered that balance. No longer can you go to the ticket counter at the airport, pay cash for a ticket, and board a plane without presenting identification. We now live in an electronic age were sophisticated identity thieves attempt to steal your identity for financial gain irregardless of the consequences on the victims. When I pay with a credit card, I expect to be asked to show my identification so the cashier authenticates my identity before completing the transaction. We are forced to positively identify ourselves in most important transactions in everyday life. Why should voting be any different? I feel reassured when I'm asked to show my identification that the person asking cares about me and the authenticity of what is about to occur. There's no solid evidence that voter fraud has ever occurred in the modern era. Do you know why? The evidence would require you to authenticate everybody who voted. It's a catch 22. Irregardless of whether voter fraud is occurring, positively identifying yourself the norm in society. The absence of authentication is to invite wrong doers to steal your identity and cause harm to you or others. I accept that I will forever need to carry identification. Voter identification is inevitable and is in everybody's best interest.
Dick Bernard November 02, 2012 at 09:28 PM
Just a short while ago came a robocall from former Republican Governor Arne Carlson urging a No Vote on this ID Constitutional Amendment. Send it back to the legislature and get it done right is the essence of his message. We are mired forever in a post 9-11-01 world, and what has it gotten us? Fear and loathing. But it has nothing to do with voting, which is a neighborhood activity. A cousin in a neighboring suburb just gave up her drivers license (she's 92), and I'd bet she didn't get a photo id at the time. An uncle is in the hospital as we speak, and may or may not be out by the time of the election, and he told me last night he's never had a credit card - he's 88. We seem to judge this issue by our own standards, as they are at this moment. There are endless variations, and the variations are what will render ineligible especially students, elderly and military, and as I point out in my blog, most every one of us at a time we cannot respond. I'll always remember that quote from Norm Coleman's attorney at the time of the recount for U.S. Senate in 2008: "Maybe it's the law, maybe it's the people of Minnesota. We don't have election fraud."
Frederick Hess November 03, 2012 at 01:45 PM
This ballot measure was poorly conceived and badly written. It creates more problems than solves. In a time when we should be more austere with the tax payer's dollars this amendment will set into motion the development of provisional ballot system that may cost millions of dollars. We all know that technology has changed dramatically in the last 50 years, let along the past decade. Enshrining in the constitution "Photo Identification" locks into place a technology may be soon outdated. It may go the way of the horse and buggy. How about something simple like putting your fingerprint next to your signature on the page? Maybe we need to be more simple in our approach. I remember the thought that is related to the judicial system where it is better to let one guilty man go free than to convict an innocent man. In our voting system I believe it better to expand the voter base for a truly representative society and if in that process a person slips through the cracks here or there and casts a vote when they are not entitled to it is better than potentially disenfranchising thousands of others.


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