Dan McGrath on how Keith Ellison (my Congressman!) want to export Minnesota's loose voting laws:
Ellison says his proposals are needed to "curb voter suppression" and protect the rights of young, elderly and minority voters. But while more than 140 recent convictions for voter fraud are documented in Minnesota alone, there's never been more than speculation about modern voter ID or registration laws disenfranchising voters.
In fact, voter ID laws have been challenged in the U.S. and state Supreme Courts in recent years, and have been upheld as constitutional.
U.S. District Court Judge Harold Murphy, who initially blocked Georgia's voter ID law with a temporary restraining order based upon the hyperbolic speculation of mass voter disenfranchisement by the League of Women Voters, Common Cause and the NAACP, wound up upholding the law after hearing the evidence.
Murphy found that the plaintiffs' failure, despite their efforts, to uncover anyone "'who can attest to the fact that he/she will be prevented from voting' provides significant support for the conclusion that the Photo ID requirement does not unduly burden the right to vote."
The net effect of Ellison's two bills would be to allow anyone and everyone to cast a ballot on Election Day without any mechanism to verify identity, citizenship and eligibility, or that people live in the state and precinct where they are voting. This is Minnesota's system.
While Ellison wants to impose Minnesota's flawed system on the rest of the country, there are on-going efforts to reform it here including some minimal requirements for identification at the polls. Ellison would describe such as efforts as "oppressive, "discriminatory," and no doubt "racist," but polls consistently show that around 70% of Minnesotans support such common sense measures to protect the integrity of the electoral process.
Ellison's proposals will likely get nowhere as they're more for show than anything else. We can hope that they will at least lead to some rational discussion of voter ID laws that move beyond the hysterical rhetoric employed by Ellison and other ID opponents.