The language on the ballot on November 6th is quite simple, voter supression proponents would have you believe. And they are going ballistic because Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie (among others) has stated that if this voter suppression amendment passes, the photo ID used to vote must contain the voter’s current address.

Does the voter suppression ballot measure, in it’s entirety and linked to above and here state that a current address on the ID is required to vote? No. So, where did MnSOS Mark Ritchie get the idea that passage of this odious amendment will require a current address? Let’s look!

First, let’s look at what the website of a leading voter suppression proponent states:

The Voter ID amendment simply requires a government-issued identification for voting — this could include a Minnesota driver’s license, state ID, a passport, a military ID, a tribal ID or even an out-of-state driver’s license. The amendment does not require an ID with the individual’s current address; it is only used to verify identity. The Voter ID amendment is silent on residence verification, leaving that to existing statutes. A voter may verify identity with photo ID, and if the address on the ID is not current, statutes allow verification of residence in the precinct with a utility bill, among other options. (emphasis added)

The Voter ID amendment is silent…” Well, yes, it is. But, the bill proposed by the GOP that wound it’s way through the legislature – eventually vetoed by Governor Dayton – certainly wasn’t!

You can link here to Senate File 509, otherwise known as the Voter Suppression Amendment; this link follows the “progress” of this odious bill (and it’s companion in the House, HF 210) from introduction through Governor Dayton’s veto.

And you can link here to read the entire bill.

I’m going to highlight a few key items to highlight that while that odious amendment on the ballot doesn’t require an address, that’s exactly what the proponents proposed to do, and given time and power, that’s exactly what they WILL do. Let’s look at a screenshot from the Journal Of The Senate on May 18th, 2011:

OK, see that part highlighted, to the right? It reads: “(1) a Minnesota driver’s license, state identification card, or voter identification card issued under section 171.07 that contains the voter’s current address of residence in the precinct;” (emphasis added). It’s quite clear of the intent of the authors of this odious amendment that the Photo ID had to have a current address on it.

Let’s take a closer look at some more of this section:

“Subd. 2. Photo identification….” Here’s the cut ‘n pastes from this subdivision: “(1)…that contains the voter’s current address of residence …” & “(2)(i)…that contains the voter’s current address of residence …” & (3)…the voter’s current address of residence…”

It’s clear; the authors intend that Minnesota Law require a photo id to have the voter’s current address on it – if they get their way.

Governor Dayton is trying his best, to make sure they don’t. Let’s look at his veto message the the GOP-controlled legislature:

“Dear President Fischbach:
With this letter, I am vetoing and returning Chapter 69, Senate File 509, a bill requiring voters to provide photo identification with their current address before receiving a ballot, establishing a new provisional voting system, and making other changes to election administration. (emphasis added).”

Everybody at the Capitol knew EXACTLY what the GOP Majority in the House and Senate was trying to do – require a current address on a photo ID for it to be “acceptable” – with very few exceptions and military ID wasn’t one of them.

It is quite disingenuous for the voter suppression proponents to claim now, anything else.

My only quibble with what MnSOS Mark Ritchie said, that passage of this odious amendment would require an ID with current address, is it didn’t qualify it with a “sooner or later” after it.

Because clearly, that’s what these right wing extremists want to do. Passage of this amendment will be bad enough (adding an unfunded mandate to local governments is only the start), sooner or later these right wing extremists will make it worse.

More on this odious voter suppression amendment, later – including it’s affects on voting by active duty military stationed outside of Minnesota. Stay tuned!

And in the meantime, remember: You Couldn’t Trust The GOP Then, You Still Can’t Now, And Tomorrow Won’t Be Any Different.

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject; comments welcome there)

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As noted by fellow MPP Blogger The Big E (Justice Page Got It Right), all four Pawlenty Appointees ruled as the majority today on lawsuits concerning Constitutional Amendments on November’s ballot. For this discussion, I’m going to focus on the decision regarding the ballot names for the amendments, and then discuss the Voter Suppression Amendment. Joining Justice Page in dissent on ballot names was Justice Paul Anderson (not to be confused with Pawlenty’s republican pick, G. Gordon “Barry” Anderson). Both of their dissents were blistering; I prefer Justice Paul Anderson’s – read them both here.

Be that as it may, the Pawlenty Appointees held court. So, now what? There’s only three things that can be done to limit the damage the GOP’s Voter Suppression Amendment will do, and I’ll count them down: 3) Take back the State House and the State Senate. The rules on how the Amendment are still to be written; the GOP basically said, to all of the objections: “Trust us.” Yeah, “right.” Trust the GOP, which as a party is so financially incompetent they can’t pay their rent??!? And that’s just for starters. Always remember this: You Couldn’t Trust The GOP Then, You Still Can’t Now, And Tomorrow Won’t Be Any Different 2) Get rid of one of the four Pawlenty Appointees by voting for Dean Barkley, who is running against G. Gordon “Barry” Anderson. 1) Beat the damned Amendment in November.

For several reasons why this Voter Suppression Amendment is so noxious, here’s a recent interview of State Representative Steve Simon:

(cross posted at MnProgressveProject.com; comments welcome there)

Some Thoughts On GOPer Voting Fraud

On March 21, 2012, in Dirty Politics, Videos, by tommy

Jodi Boyne is the Public Affairs Director for the Minnesota House GOP, and she sent that tweet out just a few hours ago. On a straight party-line vote, Republicans voted to place a State Constitutional Amendment to enshrine Voter Suppression on the ballot this November.

I, of course, retweeted it – with #NotIntendedToBeAFactualStatement” preceding the “RT”!

Why? Because, Gentle Readers, the Republicans are hoping to disenfranchise as many people – students, elderly, the poor, etc etc etc – as they can. They want to put into the Great State of Minnesota’s Constitution a way to prohibit participation; something a little more subtle than the disenfranchisement they’ve been sticking to Ron Paul supporters already. And if they’ll do it to Ron Paul – ostensibly, a fellow Republican – you know dam sure they’ll do it to you.

So, what have they been doing to Ron Paul supporters? From Georgia, let’s look!

(Direct Link To YouTube)

OK, that one is a little long, but: if the GOP is doing everything they can to suppress the votes of people ostensibly within their own Party; why wouldn’t they suppress votes from people outside of their party?

And it’s not just Georgia. Just last month, in February 2012, there was a vote counting scandal in the Main Republican Straw Poll. Just the other day, Republicans actually had Ron Paul supporters arrested in Missouri for trying to follow the rules and get their people elected. And let’s not forget about the GOP’s vote counting scandal in Nevada; check out the links at the end of that story!

This kind of internal party suppression stuff isn’t new; I wrote about the 2008 Republican State Convention: “Fear And Loathing In Rochester”.

So when you have a PR Flack like Boyne pushing a Republican talking point – “Minnesotans deserve to know their votes count” – you can be dam sure that that’s NOT what it’s about.

And the scandals involving the Ron Paul 2012 Suppression are just another example of what I always say” “The Republican Party is morally bankrupt, intellectually dishonest, and institutionally corrupt.”

But hey – don’t just take it from me; remember what former RNC Chair Michael Steele said?

“You have absolutely no reason – none – to trust our words or our actions at this point.”

True then, true today, and you can bet it’ll be true tomorrow too.

This Republican Voter Surpression Amendment MUST be stopped.

(cross posted at MnProgressiveProject.com; comments welcome there)