The Minnesota Legislature is poised to vote on a proposed Constitutional amendment that would replace same-day voter registration with a new election system called provisional voting. Not only would this new system cost local governments tens of millions in new tax dollars, it would delay the reporting of election results while we all waited for 500,000-600,000 provisional ballots to be processed. Since one-third of all provisional ballots nationwide are never counted, this could reduce our overall vote count by up to 200,000, knocking us out of our position as the state with the highest voter turnout in the nation. Given that over half-million Minnesotans normally use same-day registration in big election years, this kind of radical change should not be taken lightly.
Currently voters are allowed to update their address or other voter registration information and to cast their ballot in their neighborhood polling place on Election Day. The proposed amendment changes the rules and would not allow you to cast your ballot. Same-day registrants could only cast a provisional ballot that could not be opened or processed until election officials finished processing them in the weeks following the election. Cost estimates for taxpayers who would need to pay for this new parallel election system are estimated to be about $40 million for the set-up and then another $3 million to $5 million each year to operate provisional balloting depending on the number of elections held.
The high cost of creating a brand new system of provisional balloting has triggered strong opposition from many organizations representing local units of government, like the Minnesota Association of Townships. They have testified in opposition to provisional balloting numerous times, objecting to the fact that they would need to raise local property taxes in order to pay for this new bureaucracy. The townships asked the Legislature to cover the costs of this new unfunded mandate, but legislative leaders have refused.
Full Article: Swift action needed to save same-day registration | MinnPost.