#556 – Dick Bernard: Election 2012 #12. The Proposed Minnesota Voter Disenfranchisement Act.

Highest on the list of contemporary issues I am concerned with is what I would call the “Minnesota Perpetual Voter Disenfranchisement Act”. This Act, HF 2738, is the proposed Amendment to the Minnesota Constitution which covertly (at least to public gaze) ends same day registration (the means used by one of six Minnesota voters) and replaces it with something called Provisional Voting. The HF 2738 is a voter dis-empowerment disaster in the making…exactly what its proponents intend.
Regardless, polls suggest that most people – party affiliation makes no apparent difference – think this idea is a good one and, at least at this moment, they will probably vote for it in the fall. If it passes, it will be a tragic mistake extremely difficult to undo. It will not pass if people know what it will do.
The proposed Constitution Amendment passed virtually unanimously in the 2012 session of the Legislature by solely Republican votes. (One Republican legislator voted against it, no Democrat voted for it, and it was intentionally passed so that it would bypass the potential veto by the Governor. There was no bargaining on this bill.) It does not even have a name as yet, and its descriptor masks its intent.
There is a fundamental (and encouraged) misunderstanding of what the bill is. Koolaid laced with Cyanide seems as good a descriptor as any.
My personal file on this issue, including the final bill passed in the Legislature, and the ALEC Model Legislation that is the birth mother of this monstrosity, is already an inch thick. (The Bill itself is only a few short paragraphs.)
All I can say is make every effort to learn everything that you can about this proposed Constitutional amendment in the coming months, and encourage your friends and neighbors to do so as well. There will be many sources of reliable information. Clear your calendar if you see or hear about a presentation in your area. You will want to know about this piece of poison you are being asked to enshrine permanently in our states Constitution.
And it is not absolutely certain that it will even pass court muster to be on the ballot in November. It is too deceptive and misleading.
I keep thinking of “Russian Roulette” – the deadly game where one bullet is placed in a revolver, and if you spin the cylinder of the six-shooter and pull the trigger and nothing happens you live.
HF 2738 is Russian Roulette with your right to vote, EVEN IF you think it can’t possibly affect you. What if you show up late to vote, and forgot your ID at home? Or you moved recently and do not yet have a valid ID with your new address? And on and on and on. It CAN happen to YOU.
(A while back I did a little exercise about my own voting history. I turned 21 in 1961, and cannot recall a subsequent election in which I have not voted (except in U.S. Army year of 1962). 2012 will be my 26th biennial Election in the United States.
Some time ago I reviewed my residence history in those 25 Election years: I lived in 10 different towns, in three different states. In four of the years I had been resident for three months or less; in five more, less than two years.
We are a migratory society and I’m not unusual.
I’d suggest doing your own history.
You may be surprised at what you recall.
And commit yourself to learning about one of the most disastrous initiatives ever to be foisted on the electorate of this state.
Related here, here and here.
(For all posts on Election 2012, simply type those two words in the Search Box.)

1 reply
  1. Bruce Fisher
    Bruce Fisher says:

    I wholeheartedly agree with you, Dick, on this terrible prospective addition to our state’s Constitution. I’m working with Take Action MN on this issue on the grass roots level in my voting district. I encourage all to do the same.
    One thing you mentioned that grabbed me,”We are a migratory society…”. This voting suppression amendment will have an indirect effect on the freedom to “migrate”. The forces that want to suppress voting also want to restrict other freedoms. They want to do this, as their logic goes, for our protection. I can see, if we don’t stand up to this abuse now, that sometime in our future we will be dealing with being unable to travel without a photo ID.


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