Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Talking with Dan from "Minnesota Majority"

This conversation is imagined, but it isn't so hard to imagine, really. Dan McGrath is the mouthpiece for Minnesota Majority, Ray Vanderveer's darling. The issue, of course, is the proposed Minnesota constitutional amendment to require a photo voter ID when showing up at the polls.

- o O o -

So Dan, you have to be a property owner to vote, right?

Why, yes, of course.

Well, no, not really. But surely you have to have an apartment or permanent place to live?


Sorry, another leading question, but wrong again. You can be homeless and you are still a citizen with a constitutional right to vote.

[mutters under breath]

I'm sorry?

Never mind.

We'll come back to residence later, but for now, here's the next question. You have to be a citizen to vote. How do you prove your citizenship?

With your driver's license of course.

I'm sorry to ask such hard questions, Dan. But the driver's license in your pocket does not prove you're a U.S. citizen.

Really? I mean, no, I guess not.

Don't feel bad, Dan; mine doesn't either. But I just got mine renewed for four years, if we adopt a requirement for a photo ID that would include a driver's license as a permitted identification document, wouldn't I and everyone with years to go on a license have to get a new one after proving to the AAA or some other licensing station that I was a citizen?

Gosh, I hadn't thought of that. Well, we could phase it in, so you just had to come up with proof of citizenship when you renewed.

That would mean, at least for the transition period, that some citizens would have to prove citizenship with documentation, and some wouldn't. [You swear or affirm your citizenship every time you vote, though, and you can be prosecuted, if you lie, under current law.]


Sorry, Dave, I mean Dan, we can't do that.


Because it would violate the Equal Protection Clause of the U.S. Constitution, the Voting Rights of 1965, and the terms of the proposed photo voter ID amendment itself, probably among other things.

So we'll just make everybody get a new driver's license or whatever.

Don't you think it'll get a little crowded down at the courthouse or at AAA? And who's going to pay for it?

The people applying, of course.

If that's required, it will be an unconstitutional poll tax, and it would violate the provisions of the proposed amendment, too. Do you suppose AAA and the counties will want to do all this processing free?

Well, they should.

I can tell you're getting tired, Dan. We'll pick this up another time.

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