Voter ID could disenfranchise
To the editor:
The voter identification amendment would require that all voters show a government issued picture ID before one could cast a vote.
What is this new proposed amendment really accomplishing?
A news report last year cited that in Minnesota there were 113 out of 2.9 million voters who were convicted of voter fraud. The cause of this fraud? Primarily it was a misunderstanding of when their voting rights had been restored after being released on parole or probation, not impersonation of a voter, which would be all that requiring a voter ID would prevent.
In reality this amendment may cause many of society’s disenfranchised to be forced to overcome more barriers in the voting process. This amendment could potentially decrease the amount of votes cast from the elderly, homeless, and even those living in poverty. Additionally, the ‘vouching’ system used by many voters in which one person, for example an employee at a homeless shelter, can vouch for the residents and declare they are in fact staying at the shelter and have been for however long, will not be a valid process if this amendment passes.
While, yes, having a valid and verifiable way of identifying voters is an important and key piece in a just democracy, we need to make sure that in the process we aren’t creating more barriers for people in society whose voices are already muffled. There are definite pros and cons to this amendment and it is up to the people of Minnesota to now consider where they stand on this very important issue.