Earlier we wrote about the constitutional amendment ballot initiative that will require all Minnesotans to carry valid photo ID at the polls. On Thursday, two knowledgeable advocates of the ballot initiative spoke to a group of Tea Party Patriots at Rochester’s Godfather’s Pizza to educate them on the latest news about the amendment and to dispel rumors.
John Rouleau of St. Paul is a political activist and field director of ProtectMyVote.com. His message is to not believe the hype that the law will disenfranchise voters who can’t afford an ID, the elderly, shut ins, the military serving overseas, college students and the like.
“I got my ID in college” said Rouleau. “I’m kind of insulted that they think that I’m not smart enough to do that! “
Rouleau points out that the military voting laws cover absentee balloting for servicemen and women overseas and that the law when enected by the legislature will include provisional balloting and free photo ID for those who cannot get it any other way.
State Senator Mike Parry-R was on hand at the meeting and spoke to voters on issues currently facing the ballot initiative. He intends to call key government officials into committee hearings Friday to hear why they oppose the ballot initiative properly voted on in the legislature and why they won’t let it go to the people for a vote, campaigning against it with tax-payer dollars. One of the members Parry intends to call before committee is State Secretary of State Mark Ritchie-DFL who has opposed the measure from the beginning and has recently changed the name of the ballot question, which Parry believes is outside his authority.
“Our whole purpose in my committee meeting tomorrow is to show a pattern of (Ritchie) using taxpayer dollars to actually campaign against not only the Voter ID Law but the marriage amendment,” said Parry.
It is likely the Secretary of State will not show, but send a representative, Parry said, in which case, his committee has subpoena power, he said.
Ritchie has said from the beginning that there is no voter fraud in Minnesota, while Rouleau cites statistics saying that Minnesota leads the nation in the number of voter fraud convictions. Information and a history of the ballot initiative is available at the Minnesota Majority website and at ProtectMyVote.com.
A recent poll conducted by the Minneapolis Star Tribune shows that the majority of Minnesota residents across the spectrum are in favor of some sort of photo ID requirement at the polls. Below you can see an infographic showing the numbers in that poll.
The Star Tribune’s Scott Newman writes Wednesday that the rewording of the ballot initiative by Ritchie is “out of bounds”.
The ballot question comes up for a vote in the November election. An abstention from voting equals a no vote according to constitutional amendment rules in Minnesota.