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Kent Kaiser lying about Voter ID amendment in Pioneer Press

by The Big E on April 19, 2012

The St. Paul Pioneer Press let Kent Kaiser write an op-ed to dispel the fear that the Republican’s Voter ID Amendment will eliminate same-day registration. Kaiser simply lies.

Who is Kent Kaiser? He’s the former Communications Director for the MN Family Council (the right wing Pro-Life group). He worked under former Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer in the SOS office. Kiffmeyer is an ALEC member and founded the vote suppression organization Minnesota Majority. As Sec of State she became infamous for trying to hang posters of terrorists in polling places in 2006 to scare voters. Her time as Sec of State was noted for attempts to limit Native American’s participation in elections. Kaiser was apparently part of all this.

Here’s how Kaiser began:

Gov. Mark Dayton, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and DFL legislators have repeatedly said that passing a constitutional amendment requiring people to show photo ID to vote would end “same-day” voter registration. This is completely untrue.

Kaiser knows that same-day registration will be replaced with a provisional ballot system. He hopes that by simply saying the opposite, enough people will believe him. Its the principle of getting the lie out the door because it’ll take days for the truth to even get its shoes on.

Kaiser claims that military IDs will be sufficient. Nobody knows if military IDs will be sufficient proof. The next legislature has to figure nearly everything out about how Photo IDs will be implemented.

Will student IDs from state universities be sufficient? Nobody knows. I bet private college students will be screwed. Do I know for sure? Nope. The next legislature will have to figure this out.

All ballots where the voter doesn’t have the correct ID that matches the voter log will be cast as a provisional ballot.

Will a passport, a driver’s license from your previous address and utility bills from your current address be sufficient? Nope. Not as far as I can tell. This voter’s ballot will be cast provisionally.

In areas with lots of renters, i.e., Minneapolis and St. Paul, a high percentage of votes will be provisional. In poorest areas where renting rates are highest, even more ballots will be provisional.

Each and every county would have to check all the various database they check a person against prior to allowing their ballot to enter the legitimate vote pool. This might takes a week or weeks for Hennepin and Ramsey counties.

Then there’s the follow up mailer. The post office can’t forward it. If it comes back, the person’s vote wouldn’t be counted. This could add a couple more weeks to determining the election results.

So on election night, we won’t know how voters in DFL strongholds of Minneapolis and St. Paul voted, but Carver County (MNGOP stronghold) which has lower transiency rates will have reported. You know that Republican-owned KSTP and the Pioneer Press will be crowing about how the Republican candidate won despite many city precincts not reporting accurate totals.

But what if the race is close? We might not know if we need a recount until December. How does that increase the integrity of our voting system?

The Real Goal: vote suppression
Republicans want to place a hurdle in the way of students, seniors, minorities and the poor’s ability to vote by eliminating same day registration. I’ll explain below the fold …  
Republicans know that these demographics are mostly DFL voters. If fewer of these people were to vote, future Norm Coleman and Tom Emmer losses could be prevented.

Presidential years are the elections in which the most same-day registrations occur. This will affect upwards of 500,000 Minnesotans ability to vote in presidential year elections.

Instead of producing a utility or credit card bill as proof you live in your precinct, Republicans want to force students to vote where there driver’s license says they live. Thousands upon thousands of college and university students won’t have the time to drive back home to vote. Fewer students voting, mission accomplished.

Republicans want to force thousands upon thousands of seniors to jump through all kinds of red tape to get the necessary documentation to obtain a valid photo ID. Fewer seniors voting, mission accomplished.

Homeless people would be completely screwed without same-day registration. Mission accomplished.

And don’t get me started on overseas military voting. Absentee voting would be abolished. How would a soldier in Afghanistan validate they are who they say they are? Nobody knows. Republicans haven’t considered this. They punted this to next year’s legislature.

The military is no longer a reliable Republican voting bloc. Fewer soldiers voting, mission accomplished.

Then consider the cost. Providing free IDs to upwards of hundreds of thousands of people. The extra costs associated with counting provisional ballots (possibly weeks worth of work in Minneapolis and St. Paul). The advocates for the amendment haven’t thought this through.

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