Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hooray! Fritz and Arne Team Up Together

Wow! The news just came through on my computer. Former Vice President Walter Mondale and former Governor Arne Carlson are joining forces to defeat the voter ID amendment that will appear on the ballot this November. Hooray!
by Charlie Leck

What a dream team! Mondale and Carlson! It’s perfect and I am predicting big things right now. Count me in, you guys. I’ll donate some money to the cause and I’ll volunteer to work hard on stopping this foolish constitutional amendment. We don’t need it and it will prevent some people from voting and those will be people who already have enough problems getting to their polling places. [See StarTribune story about Mondale and Carlson joining forces!]

Josie Johnson
Well, on top of all this, it has also been announced that Dr. Josie Johnson will also join these two well known gentlemen and that makes me even happier. Dr. Johnson is a well known civil rights leader here in Minnesota and someone I have respected since I first met her in 1967. She is a former Regent at the University of Minnesota.

Tim Penny
Add to the team a former U.S. Representative from Minnesota, Tim Penny. He’s a distinguished political observer now and understands the heartbeat of Minnesota as well as anyone I know. Penny is a brilliant speaker with a quick wit and a cut-to-the-chase attitude.

At a news conference today the four made it clear that the amendment does not represent the best of Minnesota nor the heart and attitude of our state. We cannot disenfranchise voters by making the act of getting into the voting booth more difficult.

The former Governor spoke boldly today: “It terrifies me!” He made it clear that he believes the Koch brother are behind the measure and are trying to influence coming elections in anyway they can.

There are no problems with the way voting works in Minnesota and no one has been able to present any evidence that there is. This is all part of the right-wing attempt to control voting in such a way that its candidates would be most helped.

“This is a clean, solid, exemplary state,” Vice President Mondale said at the news conference today. He made it clear that the amendment is an attempt to discourage certain people from voting.

Minnesota has a long history of making it easier for people to vote and not more difficult. A higher percentage of eligible voters go to the polls here in Minnesota than in any other state and that has been true for many years.

And, of course, Dr. Johnson was able to reflect on times when all kinds of barriers were put before black voters to keep them from voting, including poll taxes and literacy tests. She sees the photo i.d. requirement as just another of those barriers.

The Minnesota League of Women Voters has asked the Minnesota Supreme Court to rule against the voter i.d. amendment and have it removed from the ballot. Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has told the court that ballots will be printed sometime right after August 27 and that it would be helpful to have a ruling by then.

The important thing to remember and stress if you have quarrels with anyone about this issue is that there is no need for such a procedure in Minnesota. There is no history of voter fraud here and no one can present credible evidence that there has been. Why, in that case, make it so difficult for some Minnesota citizens to vote?

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