Saturday, June 2, 2012

Minnesota Democrat Party Constitution Amendment Process Pushes its Own Voter ID

So I made the full round this year, attending both the Republican and Democrat 2012 State Conventions.  However the starkest point that struck me from the Democrat Convention was not one of the speeches.  It was from an amendment to the DFL Constitution proposed by the Constitution Committee, and the resulting debate on the floor.

The issue of Voter ID is one the DFL loves to hate, violently argue, and claim evil intent about.  The misconceptions they spread about this issue are truly staggering.  But not as staggering as that moment of clarity that came when they discussed Constitution change #10.  This was at its root, where the Democrat Minnesota Convention takes up its own Party Constitutional Amendment on a (admittedly not quite the) "Voter ID" issue..
10. Add provisions to allow absentee voting on precinct caucus preference ballots subject to approval of voting rules by the State central Committee.
At face value this would seem to be a core DFL value.  Voting freely allowed, without identification.  And in fact that was close to one of the arguments made during the discussion that followed from a floor amendment by a gentleman moving to strike this change from the Constitution Committee Report.  [You should be able to get the report from the website, it is also shown in the video I have of the salient points.  I removed the chastisement speech made to ask all the delegates to be quiet (it was a bit entertaining at that, so I will use it in another post) and some other less interesting arguments like the one I mentioned above.]

The main argument from the man objecting was:
I don't believe the central committee can come up with any mechanism that will genuinely prevent people from printing out a stack of absentee ballots and submitting them and getting improper votes for a candidate
The most interesting argument came from a man supporting the motion to reject (you really have to watch the video to get the real impact of the voice escalation and emphasis on certain words):
You are opening up yourself for absolute insanity at the caucus level.  The potential exists for someone from the Citizens United type to pack our caucuses with bought and paid for ballots, absolutely guarantee destroying the caucus process.  There is no way to protect that folks.  Because we allow anyone to attend the caucus.  We would therefore also have to allow any absentee ballot to attend the caucus no matter which Koch brother paid for it.
Really, Citizens United is a bigger threat to election integrity than ACORN?  And Koch is more of a concern than Soros' SOS program?  You just can't make up this level of angst, misdirection, and mendacity.  Then a woman states what this gentleman was really talking about, FRAUD!
I understand concerns people have about fraud, but lets not disqualify good democrats from participation because bad people want to take over our process.
 So after all the finger pointing, and discussion of evil discriminatory purposes (on the real Voter ID issue), the Democrats join in a solid majority to pass this amendment.  Striking the paragraph, and essentially support requiring a voter id of personal attendance.  Its great when they essentially make the points for you.  Much like the Unions requiring Photo Identification to vote in Union elections.

I am sure there will, for their own purposes, be those that will say this is an entirely different thing, apples and oranges.  But the parallels are overwhelmingly strong and unavoidable.

And this was just about the caucus vote for president ... not even the real thing!
We really do need Voter ID to assure vote integrity.
And at heart the DFL agrees!

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