ACLU adds reward to voter ID debate

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The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota contends a proposed constitutional amendment for a voter identification requirement is unnecessary, and it’s using a cash reward to emphasize that point.

During a news conference today, ACLU Executive Director Chuck Samuelson offered to pay $1,000 to anyone who could show a recent case of voter impersonation that the ID requirement would have stopped. It has to be a prosecuted case within the past 10 years. Samuelson said he’s already certain that there were none during that time frame.

“The bill has it is currently envisioned would not prevent the voter fraud that we know exists, and that is felons who are out of jail but no off parole, who have voted or who have registered to vote,” Samuelson said.

Dan McGrath, executive director of the election watchdog group Minnesota Majority, said he’s seen evidence of voter impersonation. But McGrath said it is impossible to catch someone who has used a fictitious identify to vote.

“If I go into the polling place, my name is Dan McGrath and I represent myself as Bob Smith, they’re now looking for Bob Smith,” McGrath said. “They might be able to fugure out there is no Bob Smith, but how are they ever going to find me?”

  • I feel compelled to add two points.

    1. We have evidence of false identity voting. Minnesota Majority’s recent report on unverifiable Election Day registrants points to this. Channel 5 found evidence of this that led to convictions, but that falls outside the timeframe set by the ACLU. See the report here: http://wewantvoterid.com/documents/2012_PVC_Report_Final.pdf

    2. The voter ID bill WOULD have stopped the ineligible felon voters that have been convicted. If you read the bill, instead of relying on the talking points, you’ll see that it requires verificaton of eligibility before a vote can be counted. Over 1,000 fraudulent votes would have been stopped if we had either the 21st Century Voter ID bill, or the voter ID amendment in place for the 2008 ad 2010 elections. See SF509 http://www.senate.leg.state.mn.us/bills/billinf.php?ls=87 and SF1577 http://www.senate.leg.state.mn.us/bills/billinf.php?ls=87 .

    Of course, the whole reward thing is a trick, so nobody’s going to get the money even though voter fraud that would have been stopped by the Voter ID bills has been proven via criminal convictions.

  • It is truly sad how the GOP have taken an issue created entirely in their imagination and fears, and have stoked it to such a level that they would rather see less people voting to ease their own minds. They raise the Spector of felons voting for Franken, people (like the homeless!) who can’t be ‘verified’, and the infirmed and their caretakers who act suspisiously.

    The GOP are truly acting SHAMEFUL in This matter.

  • Dan, if those felon votes are all you’re concerned about, great news! We can do that without taking away others’ rights to vote. Rep. Bobbie Joe Champion has introduced a bill that would fix our problems with reporting felons’ eligibility status without taking away thousands of eligible Minnesotans’ right to vote. The Republicans voted against it. Why?

    The reason, of course, is that you want to stop Minnesotans from voting. There have been exactly ZERO cases of voter impersonation in Minnesota. There have, however, been numerous people who have come forward showing how voter ID would prevent them from voting.

    What could you possibly say to those people — mostly seniors — that could justify why they should lose their right to vote?