Fight for your voting rights

Mitch Menigo, MPIRG

The high number of citizens voting and participating in Minnesota elections is truly something to be proud of. It can be argued that the excellent turnout in our elections is due to voting mechanisms that encourage people to get involved such as same-day registration, absentee ballots and just how easy it is to cast your ballot at your local polling location.

Now there are some that want to make it harder for Minnesotans to vote. In the last session of the legislature, Voter ID legislation was proposed. Only one party advocated for this bill and only one party voted this bill through legislature. It is not a bipartisan bill. The governor vetoed it. But, like other issues, it has been redrafted as a constitutional amendment to be voted on in this yearâÄôs elections.

Voter ID is not designed to stop voter fraud as proponents claim; it is designed to keep certain groups of people from voting. The facts show that voter fraud exists but that reported cases have not influenced elections. Of the ways voter fraud has been committed, none have ever been though voter impersonation (the only fraud Voter ID could prevent), but rather through ineligible voters submitting ballots.

If youâÄôre a senior citizen, disabled, member of the military, person of color, low-income or a student âÄî like most of us on campus âÄî you will be among those affected by Voter ID. In fact, according to the Secretary of StateâÄôs Office, 18 percent of voters between ages 18 and 24 currently do not have ID that would allow us to vote under this amendment, and more than 200,000 eligible voters statewide. I urge all citizens of this great state to call their Minnesota state legislator and fight to keep voting rights intact and unabridged. Now is the time for Minnesotans to be heard.