Occasionally, there are claims in Minnesota that same-day voter registration could lead to voter fraud. Today, it appears to be preventing fairly widespread voter disenfranchisement.
We've heard from a handful of people showing up to vote, only to be told they weren't on the list of registered voters, even though -- in many cases -- they've voted before. That's not a big deal -- other than inconvenience -- because Minnesota allows same-day registration.
I just talked to Csilla Szabo of Rochester, who says she's still upset at her experience when she tried to vote at the People of Hope Church in Rochester around Midmorning. "I've been registered for two years, I went rhough the line and my name was not on the voter roll," she said. "I had to re-register and it's a good thing I had proper ID with me. I asked the election judge where I could file a complaint and she said she didn't think there was any way for individuals to file a complaint."
Ms. Szabo says while she was there, another couple had the same problem and the election judge told her that it's happened to about 75 people at that voting place today. "When I submitted my ballot, I looked at the counter and it said 750 people had voted. That means more than 10-percent of the registered voters weren't on the list."
And that means were it not for same-day registration, 10 percent of the voters would be out of luck.
Her story is similar to others we've received.
The takeaway? Even if you think you're a registered voter, take an ID to the polls with you. If you don't, and there's no time to go home and get one, you'll be shut out.
When me and the Mr. showed up at our polling place this morning, he had to re-register because his name wasn't on the list. He registered to vote during the summer with the Obama campaign and he received the card stating where his designated polling place is. We're glad that he was able to re-register on the spot, but it was a huge hassle after having to stand in line for nearly an hour.
I don't know if this is common practice at all the polling locations, but they did not check my ID at all. As long as my name was on the list of registered voters for the precinct, I got my ballot. Seems like an opportunity to commit voter fraud by stealing someone else's identity.
I registered when I renewed my driver's license this spring and was not listed on the rolls, so I had to re-register. (Also from Chaska)
Lynn: It's a common complaint here that not showing an ID is an opportunity for fraud, but, in fact, there is no evidence that such fraud exists.
Still, that's what's behind the movement to require ID at the polls, which was ruled constitutional by the Supreme Court this year.
I renew my previous assertions, though, that it's truly goofly to have 50 states and 50 different ways of voting.
You don't need to have an ID to vote in MN as long as you are on the registered voter list, but the person checking you in is supposed to verify it's really you. They ask your last name, then you also have to provide your first name and address. You can't just check it off the roll, you have to be able to say who you are. To committ fraud this way, you'd really have to have memorized the other person's information (and hope that they haven't already shown up to vote!). Also you when you sign in you are making a sworn affidavit that you are a legal voter, and if you're lying it's a felony offense--not a small deal if you're caught.
Someone should have told Cathy Tripoliss of Chaska that she could vouch for her son. I had a similar experience in the 2006 election and didn't have the proper ID, but had a neighbor vouch that I lived there.
Here's another great source for voter eligibility info. Th MN House of Reps. Research Dept. publication:
If we're not careful, we'll become just like Ohio & Florida1
What are the thoughts of the state having an data base of voter that the election officals can use to verify voters when there is a problem. It can be used to register new voters. The goverment has so much info about it's citizens, how come it hasn't implemented something.
With the voting process and the technology that is available, I cannot see why there isn't a system in place that provides a smoother way to vote.
As for those with out IDs, it isn't that difficult to get one, Driver's License, State ID, or other Federal ID are all available and should be inforced at the polls. To put some effort in voting is good: you got yourself to the polling place, it's the same effort to get an ID.
Please share you ideas, I'd like to see other comments on the topic.
Be proud that you voted in this election and continue to vote, don't lose that freedom!