The Minnesota ACLU has offered a $1000 reward for an example of voter impersonation, which a proposed amendment requiring photo ID at the Minnesota polls would have prevented. Anyone looking to compete for the cash should know the following restriction: the case must have been prosecuted in Minnesota within the last 10 years. I’m eager to see if the ACLU will have to start issuing checks. My guess is they won’t. The proposed Minnesota amendment, and the ACLU challenge, is part of a larger story, which I’ve written about many times Let’s review this history so far. There is a campaign around the country to impose ID requirements on voters. Opponents of these measures, including me, say they are onerous and unconstitutional since they discriminate against the elderly, minorities, rural populations and poorer, less educated voters. It just so happens that many of these groups vote Democratic.
Supporters of the ID rules, who just so happen to be mostly Republicans, say that the requirements are necessary to combat the scourge of voter fraud. Some argue that there’s no difference between requiring an ID to get on a plane, gamble, drink or buy cigarettes, and requiring one to vote. I disagree.
There is no problem with voter fraud. By “voter fraud,” I mean people who go to polling places pretending to be someone they’re not, or pretending to be eligible when they’re not. (I don’t mean public officials monkeying with ballots, which photo ID rules would do nothing to prevent.) By “problem” I mean fraud on a large enough scale to warrant hindering particular groups from exercising their right to vote. Every once in a while a story surfaces about apparent wide-scale fraud, which inevitably turns out to be false. In South Carolina, state authorities have been investigating allegations that more than 900 dead people voted in recent elections.