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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Letter to the Editor: Photo ID is a tax on our right to vote

  • Where's all this voter fraud?
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  • This last week it was my great privilege to witness my father's absentee ballot. My father is eighty-eight years old, clear headed and lives in a nursing home. Back in January of 1943, he left his senior year of high school, enlisted the Navy and served as a hospital corpsman in the South Pacific for the remainder of  the War. He and Momma raised eight children and managed to see all of them graduate from high school and receive a post-secondary education---and a couple even went on to earn graduate degrees. Today his oldest grandson is an officer and military veteran with over twenty-one years of service. My father is also an amputee, having lost his right hand and most of his left in an industrial accident. Five years ago, he entered a care facility, gave one of my brothers the keys to his car, told him to make some payments, and then he let his driver's license lapse. He said didn't need it anymore. Today that sane, appropriate, rational move is up for question. My father defended our right to vote, participated in elections for half a century, and now has an impediment thrown in front of his participation in elections.
    Passage of the Photo Identification Amendment would link my father's right to vote to the purchase of a State approved photo ID. In essence this proposed amendment demands that prior to going to the polls Minnesota citizens purchase a “Voting License.” And that smells an awful lot like a tax! To be sure, the cost of an ID for folks over 65 is only eleven dollars ($11.00). But when all but about a hundred dollars of your monthly income is gobbled up by health care, when you're stuck in a wheel chair, and would have to go to the DMV to get the voting licence, its no small matter. Voting is not like hunting deer and going fishing. It is a right of citizenship. Not a privilege regulated by the DNR.
    I've served as an election judge, and never saw a case of voter fraud. Minnesota's voting laws work. If anything, the main problem with Election Day is how many of our citizens are so disillusioned they don't bother voting. There are too few voters rather than too many. The foolishness of this whole business is blowing through the State like a scent of a skunk spattered on the highway. The quicker this amendment gets thrown in the ditch, the better for all of us.

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