Voter ID supporter wants Ramsey County official to step down

A Republican Party organizer in St. Paul is accusing Ramsey County Elections Manager Joe Mansky of unethical conduct for his public criticism of the voter ID constitutional amendment.

Greg Copeland , chair of the St. Paul Republican City Committee, sent out a news release today detailing his concern and calling on Mansky to resign. It came the same day Mansky was scheduled to speak at an anti-amendment forum in North Minneapolis. The release said election administrators are supposed to remain neutral and non-partisan on all matters.

“We repudiate Mr. Mansky for his apparent unethical activities as an Elections Manager and call for his immediate resignation,” Copeland wrote. “If a resignation is not forthcoming, we demand the Board of Ramsey County Commissioners and County Administrator Julie Kleinschmidt terminate Mr. Mansky and appoint a new Election Manager who subscribes to the basic ethical standards of conduct embraced all across America and the world to ensure election integrity.”

Mansky did not immediately return a phone message.

Voter ID supporters have also had similar complaints about DFL Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, who has frequently raised concerns about the amendment and it’s potential impact on the state’s current voting system. Republican lawmakers took Ritchie to task during a Senate state government committee hearing in July.

  • Jamie

    Joe Mansky and Mark Ritchie are supposed to make sure our voting systems work well. Therefore, they must speak out when there’s a proposal put forth (voter ID in this case) that will make our voting systems work poorly. They are simply doing their jobs well.

    Mary Kiffmeyer promoted all kinds of Republican initiatives while she was in Ritchie’s place. I didn’t hear Republicans complaining about her promotion efforts.

  • Ralph Crammedin

    The sole purpose of Mr Copeland and his band of political thugs is to prevent students, the elderly and the disabled from voting. That these cretins have the chutzpah to accuse a legitimate election official of “unethical activities” is, of course, deeply ironic.

  • Lisa Dunnigan

    Really Ralph? Maybe you should get your facts straight. When Mr. Manksy accepted this job, he agreed to adhere to a strict code of ethics which includes maintaining the the appearance of neutrality regarding any political issue or office. He can vote any way he wants, but he cannot use his office to promote his own political ideals. If he wants to be a mouthpiece for the left wing, that’s his right, but then he should step down or be in violation of his ethical obligations. This is not a question of which way to vote on Voter ID, it is a simple question of a public official violating the tenents of his job!

  • Bob

    @Jamie – how do you know ID will cause voting to go poorly? It will actaully validate those that do the right thing.

    @Ralph – nice rhetoric. People like Ritchie and Mansky are supposed to be neutral and blind. It would be the same for them if they were totally for the amendment, too. They can have their opinion, but they have to take the rules as given to them or get out of office as it is a complete conflict to their jobs, let alone shows them to be untrustworthy.

  • Lisa

    Ha! But there’s no voter fraud, right? This is even worse than all the dead people who are voting these days.

  • Jamie

    Voter ID will make the system work poorly by:

    - making it somewhere between very difficult and impossible for some people to get voter IDs, and if everyone can’t vote who should legally be able to do so, then the system wouldn’t be working well;

    - making it unlikely that we will be able to have same-day registration or mail-in voting;

    - making it more complicated at the polls for voters and for election judges, creating longer lines and waiting times which some people can’t afford to do (I, for one small example, as a disabled person, would not be able to wait in a long line);

    - making municipalities and the state spend a lot of money (tens of millions of dollars) in order to “solve” a problem that doesn’t exist.

  • Jamie

    “…but he cannot use his office to promote his own political ideals.”

    It’s not a political ideal to not want our voting system to be messed with. It’s Manski’s and Ritchie’s job to ensure the integrity of our election system. It doesn’t have integrity if tens of thousands of legally eligible voters are prevented from voting.

    But your calling it a political ideal is revealing because preventing those people from voting IS a political ideal — the political ideal of the right wing, because they know that most of the people who will be prevented from voting will be people who tend to vote for Democrats. A couple wingers have even said so explicitly. But we would not be fooled even if they hadn’t admitted it.

  • Jamie

    “Ha! But there’s no voter fraud, right? This is even worse than all the dead people who are voting these days.”

    Exactly which dead people have voted, Lisa? This has not been a problem since about 50 years ago in Chicago.

    “A new nationwide analysis of more than 2,000 cases of alleged election fraud over the past dozen years shows that in-person voter impersonation on Election Day, which has prompted 37 state legislatures to enact or consider tougher voter ID laws, was virtually nonexistent.

    “The analysis of 2,068 reported fraud cases by News21, a Carnegie-Knight investigative reporting project, found 10 cases of alleged in-person voter impersonation since 2000.” [The Washington Post, 8/11/12]

    Ten cases nationwide over a 12-year period. Meanwhile, voter ID laws will make it impossible for hundreds of thousands of eligible voters to vote.