Voter ID aims to disenfranchise low income people, immigrants, younger voters, and the disabled. A much higher percent of minorities don't have drivers' licenses.
Minnesotans Stand Up for Voting Rights
Working over a short time frame, dedicated Minnesotans made phone calls, knocked on doors, handed out flyers at parades, spoke on the radio and YouTubes, submitted letters to the editor, and talked to their neighbors about the far reaching restrictions an amendment named "Photo ID" would place on voting in Minnesota. They shared with their fellow citizens the ways the Amendment would change Minnesota from the state with the most viable democratic election system to the state with the greatest barriers to voting. They explained the many details left out of the amendment that the next legislature would have to fill in. They described the origins of the amendment in the American Legislative Exchange Council, a coalition of global corporations, wealthy individuals, and legislators which meets to craft legislation in their own interest that is then introduced in legislatures across the country. They cautioned that the high cost of the complicated provisional balloting system would have to paid through increased property taxes.
The volunteers came from faith based institutions calling their fellow congregants, unions, and nonprofit organizations working together through Our Vote Our Future. They contacted over 1.5 million people
. Their dedication to maintaining Minnesota's democracy paid off on election day when the "Photo ID" Amendment was defeated.
If they didn't reach you, you can find out more about the amendment by viewing the following videos and checking out the information on the amendment at the Think Again MN website.
This 3 minute video shows the many consequences Minnesotans of all walks of life would have faced if the amendment had passed.
Who was behind the Voter Restriction Amendment? Tim Obrien and Jeff Strate of Democratic Visions explain that narrow corporate interests have influnced Minnesota Republicans to put two constitutional amendments on the November ballot. Watch their 6 minute video.
Between performances at the Gospel Music Concert in Brooklyn Center on October 26, ministers and leaders in MN nonprofit organizations introduced the concert goers to the history of voting in the U.S. and Minnesota and commented on the devastating impact the Voter Restriction Amendment would have on the Minnesota election process. You can watch several of their passionate and insightful presentations on this half hour tape.
Our Vote Our Future's New Video
The Voter Restriction Amendment
Check out the 3 minute video here to see the many consequences Minnesotans of all walks of life will face should the amendment pass in November.
For information on the Voter Restriction Amendment, see Think Again MN and the League of Women Voters MN.
To volunteer to defeat the Amendment, see Our Vote Our Future.
Who's Behind the Voter Restriction Amendment?
Minnesota Republicans and ALEC
Tim Obrien and Jeff Strate of Democratic Visions explain that narrow corporate interests have influnced Minnesota Republicans to put two constitutional amendments on the November ballot. Watch their 6 minute video.
The Uncertainties of the "Photo ID" Amendment
Watch this 3 1/2 minute video on the many uncertainties of the Voter ID Amendment. The amendment has three times as many words as are on the ballot and multiple requirements that you won't see. The amendment makes these requirements a part of the state constitution, but it is poorly written and doesn't define how they will work.
The amendment leaves the implementation of the amendment's requirements up to the state legislature. If they can't reach an agreement with the governor and pass a law, a court will have to decide what these requirements mean and fill in the details. Both sides in the voter ID debate predict how the amendment will work, but the truth is that we don't know. Since the entire Legislature is up for election this year, we don't even know who will be writing the rules for the new system if it passes.
Minnesota Voices for Voting Rights
2 to 3 minute videos
The Big March and Rally
Raising our Collective Voices against
The Voter Restriction Amendment
Greeted by honks, hundreds of North and Northeast Minneaplis residents marched from their respective communities carrying signs asking their fellow residents and folks driving home from work to vote "NO" on the Voter Restriction Amendment on Saturday, October 20. The marchers from Northeast Minneapolis knew their fellow marchers from the Northside were approaching as they heard the drum corp accompanying the marchers. They met on the Broadway bridge and continued marching to the Minneapolis Teachers Federation for a rally with additional people who had gathered.
Speakers against the Voter Restriction Amendment who called for the marchers to participate in door knocks and phone calls included City Council Member Diane Hofstede, Lynn Nordgren from Minneapolis Federation of Teachers, Congressman Keith Ellison, Brennan Center for Justice Democracy Program Senior Counsel Keesha Gaskins, Javier Morillo Alecia from SEIU Local 26, Samuel Verdeja from Think Again MN, Mohamud Noor from New America PAC, State Representative Diane Loeffler, State Representative Bobby Jo Champion, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, and Pastor Jerry McAfee from New Salem Baptist Church.
Bill Moyers wrote an article and produced a 5 minute video on the nightmarish turn our politics recently took. "Senate Republicans twice blocked a vote to require corporations, unions, and obscure organizations hovering in the shadows to tell us who's putting up the millions and millions of dollars for all the propaganda assaulting the public during this political year."
Read Moyer's article or watch his video addressing the failure of the DISCLOSE Act. He points out the many Republican politicians, from Mitch McConnell to Scott Brown, who earlier in their careers supported disclosure, but now join in the fight to hide the truth about the wealthy few who purchase and corrupt American democracy.
Secretary of State Mark Ritchie Stands Up for MN Democracy
At the State DFL Convention, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie walked through the proposed Amendment that would restrict Minnesota's voting rights and highlighted its problems. He started by sayng that today we face the opportunity to save liberty and justice for all. Following were issues that Ritchie cited.
• Unlike other states with photo ID requirements, Minnesota would provide absolutely no exemptions. Other states provide exemptions for the elderly, the disabled, and people with religious objections to being photographed. It's an afront to us to put this in front of the public.
• Only government-issued ID is accepted, which means student IDs from private colleges would be banned.
• The amendment would institute a system of provisional ballots, which Ritchie calls “a nightmare.”
• Because the amendment goes into the constitution, it can’t be fixed.
• Most importantly, the amendment will make absentee balloting, voting by mail, and same-day registration impossible.
• It would cost $50 million to create the system of provisional balloting and $10 to $15 million a year to run the system.
Mark Ritchie concluded, 'This is called a photo ID Amendment. That's ridiculous. That's the tinest part of this. The guts of this is the attempt to eliminate mail in balloting, absentee balloting, and election day registration."
Ritchie reminded the audience that 149 years ago Minnesotans fought in the Battle of Gettysburg to save democracy, the Constitution, and the Union. "I hope next year on the 150th birthday we will celebrate our defense of democracy."Watch the MN Secretary of State's 7 minute video or read his article in MinnPost:
Minnesota Voting Amendment would change much more than you might think.
Walter Mondale, Arne Carlson: Reject ALEC Voter ID measure
Vice President Walter Mondale and Governor Arne Carlson ask us to give due dligence when it comes to voting on a constitutional amendment, especially one that dramatically changes the way we vote.
" . . . this proposed amendment does not have its origins in Minnesota, nor does it come about as a result of legislative studies of recent elections. It is a product of an organization known as ALEC, which is the creation of the Koch brothers, who amassed their fortunes in oil and who live in Florida. The goal of ALEC is to influence legislators across the nation."
They note that the overall goal of this amendment is largely to eliminate election-day registration. This provision of the amendment alone would directly affect more than 500,000 Minnesota voters. Read their article.
Amendments Are Not the MN Way
Passing Either Would Harm MN's Brand
Writing on both constitutional amendments, Dane Smith, President of Growth and Justice states,
"So understand this, once and for all: We will do great damage to our brand and our reputation if we approve either one of the constitutional amendments on the ballot in November."
While one amendment would impose unnecessary and inhibiting barriers to voting, the other would cast in constitutional stone the second-class status of some our best friends and loved ones. This is in a state which never outlawed interracial marriage and was one of the first states to allow election day registration and oath by signature to exercise one's right to vote. "Fact is," Smith emphasizes, "there is not significant problem in our election system," and thus no need for a constitutional amendment which would make it harder or impossible for so many Minnesotans to vote.
Minnesota's 38th Governor, Arnie Carlson, recently spoke on the "Photo ID" Amendment which will be placed on the ballot in November. "Where did we suddenly turn over the keys to voting to Kiffmeyer to decide who can and who cannot participate?" he questioned.
"How do you go abroad and sell American democracy? That is a stain on the virtue of MInnesota. It's designed to keep your opposition from voting. It is voter suppression. It is a direct assault on the whole intent of the Constitution."
Watch the 2 minute video.
For further information on the Voter Suppression ("Photo ID") Amendment, see the following two websites:
The League of Women Voters: http://www.lwvmn.org
Think Again MN: http://thinkagainmn.org
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