Fact checking the voter ID campaign

Ads supporting amendment falsely allege voter fraud.

By now it should be common knowledge not to believe everything you hear in political ads. It’s a dirty business, yet it can still influence public opinion.

ProtectMyVote.com, the main group in support of the constitutional amendment that would require Minnesota citizens to have photo identification in order to vote, has raised $230,000 this year for visual advertising — from YouTube videos to yard signs. Those who base their judgment off of political advertisements should step back and examine the facts and shouldn’t assume everything they hear is true. The most popular fabrication used in support of the amendment is the allegedly high amount of existing voter fraud. Advertisements say the problem of voter fraud requires more voting regulation, but according to a Carnegie-Knight investigative reporting project, voter impersonation is borderline nonexistent. Although there have been cases of in-person voter fraud in the past, only 10 out of the 2,068 reported incidents since 2000 were valid. Those 10 cases account for one in every 15 million prospective voters. According to a Minnesota Poll conducted in May by the Star Tribune, 80 percent of those planning to vote supported strict voting laws. Now that support for the amendment has dropped to 52 percent, people seem to be learning more about the voter ID effects, despite untruthful advertising campaigns.

This dramatic shift in opinion means Minnesotans are following the voter ID amendment coverage.

Before heading to the polls, voters should inform themselves on the facts surrounding the amendment and be weary of the statements made in often misleading political advertisements.