Letter to the editor: Vote NO on Voter ID Amendment
By: Paul Bergman, Two Harbors, Lake County News Chronicle
The right to vote in the United States is a fundamental part of our Constitution. It is a right not a privilege. As a Vietnam Veteran and an elected County Commissioner the right to vote is central in having a strong and functioning government. Women and men have died on foreign soil so that every American has the right to vote. I want to bring up two thoughts I have on this amendment.
First thought being, which ID’s will be acceptable under this amendment. The picture military ID I carried for 6 years in the Navy would not be allowed under this amendment. The military picture ID of every Minnesota member of the military on active duty will not be allowed. All active duty Minnesota military personal would have to have a valid Minnesota state ID to be able to vote. So if you are in a foreign country during a conflict you better have a valid Minnesota ID to vote. Meaning the address and all information must be accurate and up to date. You can take a bullet for our country, but you cannot vote. What irony is this?
Another ID that is not valid to be able to vote is a college or university student picture ID. From what I read the only valid ID will be an up to date State of Minnesota issued ID. What kind of thought went into this amendment?
My second thought; being a County commissioner I always look at what will be the extra cost to the tax payer to fund this amendment. It appears this will be another State “unfunded mandate” that the counties and municipal units of government will have to fund because the state wont. Meaning, you pay more in property tax. The County taxpayer will have to pay for new training of Auditor staff and election judges, special ballots and new procedures. Will we have to have Sheriff Deputies at polling places to verify every ID? Will we have to have copying machines to photograph the photograph just to be sure in case of a lawsuit? Who will pay for attorney fees if someone challenges a procedure or a judge? I dislike unfunded mandates because they are hard to budget for and the county commissioners catch the flack because we have to raise property taxes to pay for them while our state legislators talk on how they did not raise taxes because they have no control over property taxes.
Would it not have been wiser to have an educational push for everyone to have a State of Minnesota issued ID. Let it be an option to show an ID, but show the benefits of having an ID at a voting place.
You cannot tell me that if I do not have a valid Minnesota ID you can lawfully take away my right to vote. How can anyone say they have honored the sacrifices of all the Americans we remember on Memorial Day by supporting this amendment? In my opinion this amendment smacks of too much Big Brother government and I will not support it.