Cost of voter ID progam is too steep [UPDATED]Published 10:07am Monday, October 1, 2012 Updated 12:09pm Monday, October 1, 2012
On the surface, a constitutional amendment requiring that Minnesota residents provide a valid, government-issued photo identification in order to vote seems to make sense. Clearly, requiring a photo ID would eliminate some forms of voter fraud.
However, the need to eliminate voter fraud seems to pale in comparison to the costs of implementing it and the potential disenfranchisement of voters that may come with it.
While proponents could point to some cases of fraud in two recent statewide elections — Al Franken and Norm Coleman for senate and Mark Dayton and Tom Emmer for governor — the percentage of fraudulent votes certainly does not suggest the need for radical reform.
In addition, voter ID will most certainly create more work — and thus more taxpayer dollars — for government. For example, townships that currently do mail-in balloting may have to revert to regular balloting, potentially costing them hundreds of thousands of dollars.
And while those who do not have a photo ID may be able to get one, it is likely that many simply will not vote.
In other words, if our election system isn’t broke, then it doesn’t seem necessary to fix it.