Letters to the editor: Voter ID, big-money interests, accusationsWoodbury letter writers weigh in on voter ID, big-money interests, accusations
Voter ID law would be a stain on Minnesota’s democracy
If Lance J. Johnson ("Voter ID … ," April 18) thinks vouching is the problem with Minnesota's elections, then why doesn't he advocate strictures on vouching rather than a voter ID law which will effectively disenfranchise thousands of eligible voters in the state? Preventing large numbers of eligible voters from casting their ballots in order to prevent virtually non-existent fraud in a state known for its clean elections is rather like tearing down the house to catch a mouse.
It is obvious, furthermore, that a claim is "all slogans and no facts" when it trots out the "usual gang of suspects": the ACLU, a staunch and nonpartisan defender of Constitutional rights (yes, even the rights of children to pray in school); the highly respected and completely non-partisan League of Women Voters, an organization dedicated to promoting voting rights and education about the issues since 1920; finally, ACORN? Seriously? ACORN has not existed since 2010.
Voting is the most important constitutionally guaranteed right, the right without which the others lose meaning. Voter suppression, and make no mistake about it, a voter ID law is suppression, would be a stain on democracy within our state.
Joyce Denn - Woodbury
Democratic supporters take aim at elections, too
Carol Turnbull (“National group pushing America’s buttons,” April 11) is outraged. Why? Because a “shadowy” conservative group actively supported voter ID legislation in “nearly 40 states.” According to Turnbull, the organization, the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is bankrolled by large corporations that, in her view, are interlopers who should not be “influencing” Minnesota lawmakers.
I wonder, then, what Turnbull would have to say regarding the Secretary of State Project (SOSP), a 527 political organization founded in 2006 for the purpose of advancing “election protection” measures with a “serious commitment to wresting control … from the Republican party … by removing their political operatives from deciding … whose votes count ….”
Its membership and its donors include some very rich folks, preeminently George Soros, a well known left wing billionaire. Specifically, SOSP was the brain child of several leftist activists with ties to such organizations as MoveOn.org. To this end, SOSP actively supported secretary of state candidates in several “swing” states, Minnesota included. In 2006, for example, SOSP raised $500,000 on behalf of secretary of state candidates in targeted states. It continued to be active in the 2008 and 2010 elections, supporting, among others, the incumbent Minnesota secretary of state.
Obviously, these races were selected because secretaries of state serve as chief election officers, as officials who oversee and administer state elections, officials who sometimes play a key role in determining the winner in close elections in “swing states.”
Whatever one thinks about the integrity of Minnesota elections, one should, following Turnbull’s advice be “outraged” by SOSP‘s meddling in Minnesota’s affairs. But then, it seems, that Turnbull steadfastly holds to a double standard: it’s OK for outside leftist groups to meddle but it’s “outrageous” when conservative groups do the same thing.
Thomas St Martin - Woodbury
Letter put words in writer’s mouth
Mr. Johnson (“Voter ID would eliminate … ,“ Apr. 18) thinks my recent Viewpoint on the American Legislative Exchange Council and voter ID "lacks facts"; sorry, I tried to cram as many facts into it as fit in the allotted space, and referred readers to a website for more.
Something I'm very careful about is attributing words within quotation marks to another, but I've looked through my article and can't find the phrase the letter writer put in quotes and attributed to me: "no fraud having been proved." As I previously wrote, illegal voting by felons is the only fraud which has been proven (a problem that voter ID would do nothing to remedy); please don't put words in my mouth. He tosses in the offensive (and, by now, tiresome) insinuation that Democrats must be interested in cheating.
But the writer does sum up the crux of the issue quite neatly when he asks, "If there is no problem, then why not pass it (voter ID)?" Indeed. Raising a lot of dust to solve "problems" which we don't have seems to be in vogue with this Legislature.
Carol Turnbull - Woodbury