• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • Minnesota: The Latest Shameful Attack on Voter ID

    The latest attack on voter ID is occurring in Minnesota, where on Tuesday, the state Supreme Court will hear a case filed by the League of Women Voters (LWV).

    In League of Women Voters Minnesota v. Ritchie, the LWV is trying to convince the court to remove a referendum question from the November ballot. Its argument is that voters won’t be able to understand the ballot question.

    This referendum was passed by the Minnesota legislature in April and would amend the state constitution to require all voters voting in person to “present valid government-issued photographic identification before receiving a ballot.” The amendment would also require absentee voters to be “subject to substantially equivalent identity and eligibility verification.”

    In Minnesota, once a constitutional referendum has been approved by the legislature, it has to be approved by the voters of the state. But unlike some states that simply put the entire constitutional amendment on the ballot, Minnesota puts a shorter summary of the referendum. There have been 213 prior ballot questions decided by Minnesota voters, and the legislature has typically provided voters with a single-sentence description. The legislature designated the ballot question for this constitutional amendment as:

    Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to require all voters to present valid photo identification to vote and to require the state to provide free identification to eligible voters, effective July 1, 2013?

    According to LWV, this ballot question is “so fundamentally unfair and misleading that it evades the constitutional requirement to submit the proposed constitutional amendment to a popular vote.” In other words, Minnesota voters are too dumb and ill-informed to understand a ballot question that says that it will amend the state constitution to require photo ID of all voters.

    To no one’s great surprise in Minnesota, the ACORN-endorsed secretary of state, Mark Ritchie, who helped Al Franken pull the 2008 Senate race right out from under Norm Coleman, refused to file an answer to the lawsuit. That indicates that he agrees with the plaintiff and would no doubt like to lose the case (what is called collusive litigation in legal circles).

    The Minnesota legislature intervened in the case to defend the ballot referendum and hired a prominent Minnesota law firm, Winthrop & Weinstine, to protect the interests of the Minnesota legislature and, most importantly, the voters of Minnesota.

    The legislature has pointed out that under both Minnesota law and longstanding precedent, the language of such a ballot question is solely and exclusively within the province and authority of the legislature. It would indeed be an unprecedented interference in the legislature’s prerogatives and a violation of separation of powers if the court intervened and either changed or eliminated the referendum question from the ballot.

    What no doubt annoys the LWV and the other organizations that have joined the suit (such as the ACLU and Common Cause) is that they lost in the legislative process. This amendment was thoroughly debated and discussed by the duly elected representatives of the voters in three House committee hearings, four Senate committee hearings, one conference committee hearing, and numerous floor debates. Fourteen amendments were offered in the House and 15 in the Senate. But neither the LWV nor any of the other opponents of voter ID could make the case that there was anything wrong with this common-sense election reform.

    The LWV, whose mission statement says that it works to promote the “active participation of citizens in government,” is trying to prevent the active participation of voters in government in Minnesota. The LWV does not want Minnesota voters to vote on this issue because they are afraid it will pass—polling shows that Americans overwhelmingly approve of voter ID. So the LWV is trying to stop the democratic process through litigation, a thoroughly anti-democratic action that strikes at the very idea of popular sovereignty.

    The LWV should be ashamed that it is trying to suppress the vote of Minnesota citizens. Let’s hope the Minnesota Supreme Court is not taken in by this discreditable attempt to circumvent the democratic process.

    Posted in Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    20 Responses to Minnesota: The Latest Shameful Attack on Voter ID

    1. Bobbie says:

      these organizations should not get tax exemptions nor subsidies nor deductions or anything. They conjure names that specify what they're not about!! False advertising all the way influencing their weakness on citizens. How dare they suggest this of people! Absolutely deplorable!

      How do people understand the other questions on the ballot if they can't understand the simplest?

      These activists are so low and pathetic they do nothing about preventing fraud knowing this will eliminate alot of it. What does that alone say??!

      Voter fraud disenfranchises voter integrity! This is America! All people of all human life, WE deserve integrity in all public voting processes and integrity in those that want to govern America and her states!!! Those running shouldn't want anything less than integrity in the process. What does this say about those that cower to it? No good! CHEATS! With more abuse of authority if they cheat their way in again! There is nothing wrong with voter ID!

      • hudmar says:

        They conjure names that specify what they're not about!! Then they have the audacity to fight this case, that's like calling the Kettle Black.

      • Tony says:

        I totally agree Bobbie, if you open a checking account you have to provide I D. The reasoning behind this is voter fraud.

    2. It's worse. Obama and Ritchie were members of the radical socialist "New Party" in the 1990s. To confuse voters even more, Ritchie changed the voter ID ballet question to: "Changes to In-Person & Absentee Voting & Voter Registration

    3. Lloyd Scallan says:

      We all must understand this is not about just Minnesota, it's about almost ever state in the Union. The Democrats must have voter fraud as a major tool to force the election process in the direct they reguire to maintain the socialist stronghold on this nation. Without voter fraud, the Dems know full well they will loose most every election. This exactly why Obama appointed Holder. Not to uphold the law, but to circumvent it.

    4. “Voter ID, which is going to allow Gov. Romney to win the state of Pennsylvania, done,” Pennsylvania House Majority Leader Mike Turzai, a Republican, said to the Pennsylvania Republican State Committee last month.

      You just can't get much more transparent than that. We all know what the REAL reason for "Voter ID" laws is. It's NOT to combat voter fraud, which is negligible at best in the United States. Mike Turzai explained the reasons for "Voter ID" laws better than anyone.

      • blh557 says:

        So, in Minnesota, where busloads of people without ID showed up to vote for Al Franken identified by only one person on the bus with real ID and then successive busloads of people "identified" by another single person show up at ANOTHER polling place, possibly even the SAME buses, isn't at least suspicious???

        Of course not… wink, wink, nod, nod,… ACORNITE.

        When a presidential election is won or lost by less than seven hundred votes, ANY illegal or inappropriate votes are too many, especially when we have an administration that supports our Attorney General who REFUSES to prosecute fully documented voter intimidation from 2008. Your logic is ludicrous.

      • Kekn says:

        , Did you us used to be a boxer? You know, bob and weave, do whatever you need to do to avoid the direct hit. If there is no voter fraud, what would be the problem of showing ID?
        Why do attendees at Obama events have to show photo IDs? You might say safety for him but in like manner I am concertned ad about safety for our representitive form of government.

      • Nybbler says:

        Turzai couldn't have meant that Romney could win because there would be fewer fraudulent votes for the opposition right Chuckie?

        Now I know you guys always say that voter fraud is negligible in the US, but can you explain to me how you detect voter fraud after the fact? I don't know of anyone who has ever been contacted after an election, by the government, to ask if they voted (oh maybe that's one of the things the census workers do).

    5. John Detwiler says:

      The Democrats have and will continue to put up any argument that will help them to maintain their illegal system, (Voter fraud). This is partially what got Obama in office and it has worked down through the years, for their party. Voter Photo ID is a must for legitimacy. Hell they already have a cadre of voters in the SEIU and Public worker's unions like the Teachers Unions, who will give the Democrats their votes for returned favors. Don't think this is so? Then explain the excessive Pay and Benefit packages that they have accumulated in the last few years, compared to the common citizen. Packages that by they way are forcing Cities and perhaps even state to file for Bankruptcy.

    6. Jeanne Stotler says:

      The arguments against Voter ID doesn't hold water, you need a license to drive,1. most rural people drive as here is no public transportation, 2. If they don't have drivers license and need one they can get to the DMV so they could also get aan ID for voting, 3. It cost about 10.00 and this can be waivedn most states 4. You cannot enter a Goverment buliding without picture ID, you cannot fly w/o picture ID, You cannot e admitted without picture ID to a hospital along with your Insurance card, Drs. require picture ID along with your Insurance card, there are dozens of tings where you MUST produce a picture ID, you cannot enter a school building here in VA. w/o one. Holders statement that it would inconvient for minorities is a bunch of bunk, it'll inconvient those who shouldn't be voting in the first place, we need to be sure OUR ELECTIONS are fair and legal.

    7. Pete0097 says:

      I think that it is a shame that these various self interest groups continuously push that the voters are too stupid to be able to get a photo ID. I guess they don't think too much of their own groups.

    8. AgentGreen says:

      Why would Democrats oppose Voter ID? Well, because then they can't count on organizations like ACORN to help "register voters" on the Election Day! They can't have operatives go to nursing homes and "help" them vote! It's funny how the leftists/progressives out there love to claim "there is no proof of voter fraud", yet when asked to provide proof of their favorite excuse, "voter disenfranchisement", they spin like a gyroscope on hyper-drive and cannot provide any proof. There are proven, convicted cases of voter fraud. I have yet to read about any right-wing convictions around voter disenfranchisement.

      However, Voter ID isn't the solution to ensuring that only eligible voters are the ones voting. There needs to be a system in place to cross-check for felons who cannot vote, illegals, etc. who obtain fraudulent IDs and attempt to vote. And, there has to be a way to accommodate those who have recently moved and absentee voting.

    9. Minoso says:

      If "voters"can't understand what they are voting for or against, they should not be voting. Unfortunately, this happens too frequently.

    10. JSNYC says:

      TE: GRITY OF THE VOTE – attacker in chief

      Q/ What's on the list of specific attacks on voter integrity, voter ID, not requiring valid proof of citizenship to register to vote, Acorn-by-another-name voter registrations, not permitting state access to state of the moment readily available Homeland Security database, etc.?
      Q. Will Congress introduce actions to prevent voter fraud?

    11. Bobbie says:

      SOUNDS Like the democrat run state of Minnesota is showing their id voter fraud to be instituted by the democratic secretary of fraud state, Mark Ritchie! Some members working in the government have two ids. One for work and one to illegally collect welfare!!! We'll see alot of why America is collapsing under democratic leadership who's workmanship is nothing short of fraud in total opposition to those they pretend to work for, actually taking advantage of honest, good people trying to live independently from government dependency. "rich" is a code word for independent living at any income level! Please protect our independence!!

    12. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      It was the Democrats, not the Republicans, who had the Jim Crow poll taxes.

    13. Sue says:

      So,I read it to my 10 year old and ask her what that meant. She replied,that means they have to show their ID before they vote and if they don’t have an ID,they can get one for free. Soooo is the League of Women Voters Minnesota saying the people in Minnesota are dumber than a 10 year old?

    14. Junk Bin says:

      when the left cannot get their way by legislation or executive order, they try and do it by judicial fiat.
      Remember elections have consequences. People illegally voting for people who offer free stuff will win. These winners than appoint judges who are the backbone of liberal activity.

      the names the liberal organizations always sound so nice but they are an attempt to hide the true nature of their purpose. Once good groups are subverted by the unhappy radicals and their progressive agenda under the former good name of a group

    15. Mike, Wichita Falls says:

      Isn't it the objective of the LWV to fully inform voters of the candidates and the issues, just as they are without bias? Can't they simply expound on this "controversial" amendment in their pamphlet?

      Now if the state had told them how to print that pamphlet, they should be outraged.

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.