Letter: Where is the need for change in Voter ID

This is my response to letters by Mr. Dahl and Mr. Davis in last week’s Union Eagle.

I suggested one cost estimate for the Voter ID amendment. I’ve read of others, in the range of $3 million to $67 million dollars. Check it out online for yourselves!

Neither Mr. Dahl nor Mr. Davis gave an estimate of the taxpayers’ cost for Voter ID, as if the cost for such an amendment does not exist. A cost most certainly does exist. It won’t be free. What is your estimate of the taxpayers’ cost?

Mr. Davis suggested an estimate that taxpayers could save money by passing the amendment. But when I checked out his source, the website of the Center of the American Experiment, I found a “think tank” of far-right partisans and editorial writers. The CAE is one of the main organizations pushing this amendment.

Mr. Dahl said I raised hypothetical cases, as if the woman denied a passport or my friend’s sons’ expense in getting their birth certificates had just been made up. The older woman’s dilemma was reported in the Star Tribune’s 9-9-12 edition. My friend told me about his sons’ difficulties that same week. Very real. Hardly hypothetical.

If examples have little application to voter ID, as Mr. Dahl wrote, I wonder what other very real difficulties Minnesotans will have to bear, if this amendment passes without the scrutiny of the very real problems it raises!

The Secretary of State’s website reports all election results. In 2008, 2,910,369 votes were cast in Minnesota for president. That’s almost 3 million.

At the ProtectMyVote.com website Mr. Davis suggested, I saw the number of 200 voting fraud cases in Minnesota. Assuming that number is correct, if all those 200 conviction cases happened in that one election, the system caught them and took care of it. 200 out of 2,910,369 votes is a mere .00687 percent!

That’s not 6.87 percent, it’s .00687 percent. Looking positively, if we subtract that tiny fraction from 100 percent, the result is 99.99313 percent! Almost perfect. So where is the need for such drastic change?

Donald E. Britt, Princeton