Occasionally, there are claims in Minnesota that same-day voter registration could lead to voter fraud. Today, it appears to be preventing fairly widespread voter disenfranchisement.
We’ve heard from a handful of people showing up to vote, only to be told they weren’t on the list of registered voters, even though — in many cases — they’ve voted before. That’s not a big deal — other than inconvenience — because Minnesota allows same-day registration.
I just talked to Csilla Szabo of Rochester, who says she’s still upset at her experience when she tried to vote at the People of Hope Church in Rochester around Midmorning. “I’ve been registered for two years, I went rhough the line and my name was not on the voter roll,” she said. “I had to re-register and it’s a good thing I had proper ID with me. I asked the election judge where I could file a complaint and she said she didn’t think there was any way for individuals to file a complaint.”
Ms. Szabo says while she was there, another couple had the same problem and the election judge told her that it’s happened to about 75 people at that voting place today. “When I submitted my ballot, I looked at the counter and it said 750 people had voted. That means more than 10-percent of the registered voters weren’t on the list.”
And that means were it not for same-day registration, 10 percent of the voters would be out of luck.
Her story is similar to others we’ve received.
The takeaway? Even if you think you’re a registered voter, take an ID to the polls with you. If you don’t, and there’s no time to go home and get one, you’ll be shut out.