The opponents of Voter ID are out in force with an organized letter writing campaign. Their letters are appearing in local and statewide papers in large numbers. Most contain predictable and false talking points from the national anti-ID groups. When you see such a letter in your local paper, or read an article or editorial that parrots misinformation about the Voter ID amendment, please take a few minutes to compose a response.
Below are some sample letters that respond to common points of misinformation in the Voter ID debate. You can also see here for myths & facts or check out the problems that have been documented in Minnesota’s election system here.
Use these email links to submit your letter. Most papers require exclusivity, so pick one to send your letter to. Keep your letter under 200 words and be sure to include your name, city and phone number so the editor can verify your submission.
Twin Cities & Statewide Papers
Pioneer Press: firstname.lastname@example.org
City Pages: Feedback
Stillwater Gazette: email@example.com
St. Cloud Times: firstname.lastname@example.org
West Central Tribune: email@example.com
Crookston Daily Times: firstname.lastname@example.org
Duluth News-Tribune: email@example.com
Hibbing Daily Tribune: Letter to the Editor form
International Falls Daily Journal: Letter to the Editor form
The Bemidji Pioneer: firstname.lastname@example.org
Brainerd Dispatch: Contact Form (select “letter to the editor” in the dropdown field)
Fergus Falls Daily Journal: Letter to the Editor form
Albert Lea Tribune: Letter to the Editor form
Austin Daily Herald: Letter to the Editor form
Faribault Daily News: Letter to the Editor form
Mankato Free Press: email@example.com
Marshall Independent: firstname.lastname@example.org
Owatonna People’s Press: Letter to the Editor form
Red Wing Republican Eagle: email@example.com
Rochester Post-Bulletin: firstname.lastname@example.org
Winona Daily News: email@example.com
Sample Letters by Topic
Voter ID Doesn’t Cause Disenfranchisement
Other states that have implemented a photo ID requirement to vote have seen voter participation increase. Clearly, greater confidence in the system leads to greater, not lesser turnout. Just look at Indiana, considered to have the strictest voter ID law in the country. Their law went to the Supreme Court, which found not a single person who would be unable to vote because of the Voter ID law.
There’s no doubt that some Minnesotans currently lack ID, but that’s not a permanent situation. The Voter ID amendment requires the state to provide ID at no charge.
Voters who’ve moved recently will be able to present an ID with their former address along with a renewal slip showing the voters’ current address in the precinct, or provide other proof of residence. The constitutional amendment does not require a person’s ID to bear their current address. This applies to students, too.
Voters who run into difficulty and who need more time to obtain a renewal slip or new license, state ID or voter ID card will be provided a provisional ballot, allowing them a full additional week to obtain the necessary ID and present it to have their ballot counted. Voters are sometimes turned away without the chance to vote under our current laws. Provisional ballots will ensure everyone has a chance to vote, no matter their circumstances.
Minnesota Does Not Have a Secure Election System
Minnesota’s election system, which combines Election Day registration with vouching, is among the least secure election systems in the country. We’re one of only two states that allow this, and one of only 6 who don’t employ provisional ballots.
It may be the best election system for proponents of loose elections and voter fraud, but it is not the best for those who are concerned with fair and secure elections that are free of corruption.
With nearly 200 recent voter fraud convictions, Minnesota is now leading the nation in convictions for voter fraud.
According to data obtained from the Secretary of State’s office by Minnesota Majority, Over 6,000 Election Day registrants provided names or addresses that could not be verified after their ballots were accepted and counted in the 2008 election.
We can do better. It’s time to get out of the 19th Century and start using the common sense solution of Voter ID.
Voter ID Won’t Raise Property Taxes
Several government officials (who oppose Voter ID and appear to be using their official positions to spread propaganda for a political agenda) have recently said that the Voter ID amendment will cost exorbitant amounts of money and lead to increased local property taxes, but what do they base that upon? Nothing in the Voter ID amendment says the counties or local government will be expected to pay for anything. To the contrary, it specifically says that the state will provide Voter ID at no charge. The money will come from the general fund.
The assertion that each voting precinct will be required to hire two new election judges to handle new provisional ballots is laughable. Indiana, a state with simlar voting population, a strict voter ID law and provisional ballots had fewer than 4,000 provisional ballots cast in 2008. Compare that to Minnesota’s roughly 4,000 voting precincts, and you realize that what they’re saying is that it will take 2 election judges, each working a 14-hour shift to deal with one provisional ballot! There’s bureaucratic efficiency for you!
If you don’t see the paper you want to contact listed, you can use this tool as well (but direct email is preferred):