The ACLU is offering a $1,000 reward to anyone who can find someone who has been charged or convicted with impersonating a Minnesota voter after January 1, 2002.
“I’ll bet you can’t find (such a case)”, said DFL Representative Tom Rukavina, peering over a stack of a thousand one-dollar bills. “There has been no proven case of anybody impersonating another voter. ”
DFL lawmakers and the ACLU oppose a Republican backed constitutional amendment requiring voters have a state-issued photo ID.
Representative Mindy Greiling (DFL) noted that the right to vote is “protected by more amendments in our US constitution than any other right. ”
Representative Carly Melin (DFL), one of the youngest members of the legislature said the amendment would prevent many college students from voting. “There are tens of thousands of college students in Minnesota and they move often as they are getting their education. There’s nothing criminal about that , unfortunately they will very unlikely be able to use their student ID in order to cast their ballot.”
The elderly who make up a lot of outstate voters would also find it harder to vote said Representative Tom Anzelc (DFL). ” it just strikes me as odd that they would want to suppress turnout in rural Minnesota.”
Senator Jeff Hayden (DFL), who is black, said the amendment would “turn back history” and effect young people of color.
Representative Rukavina added, “to see people putting in legislation that is attempting to stop people from voting is disheartening to me. I think it’s un-American.”
Video of the full news conference:
Transcription of the edited highlights clip:
You see this money in front of me. If it’s stacked up, it would be as tall as I am.
I’ve got a thousand bucks sitting out here, and here’s the bet. There it is sitting there. I’ll bet you can’t find, and we’ll have Mr. Samuelson come up and say it better than me, but there has been no proven case of anybody impersonating another voter.
This is an attempt to stop people from voting. It’s wrong
Charles Samuelson ACLU- MN
Must have proof of legal charge, indictment or conviction for voter impersonation in the state of Minnesota issued not before January 1, 2002. Anecdotes, hearsay and unsubstantiated claims will not be accepted. Evidence must be presented at the offices of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, 2300 Myrtle Avenue, Suite 180, St. Paul, Minnesota 55114 by 5pm March 30, 2012. One thousand dollars will be split among all legitimate claims, if any.
Representative Mindy Greiling
Voting is a fundamental right protected by more amendments in our US constitution than any other right. In 1870 the 15th amendment extended the right of all men regardless of race. In 1920, the 19th amendment extended the right to vote to women. In 1964, the voting rights act abolished the Jim Crow laws and in 1971, the 26th amendment extended the right to vote to those 18 years old or older.
Representative Carly Melin
I just wanted to touch briefly on the college vote and how important that is here in Minnesota. There are tens of thousands of college students in Minnesota and they move often as they are getting their education. There’s nothing criminal about that , unfortunately they will very unlikely be able to use their student ID in order to cast their ballot.
Representative Tom Anzelc
And for the life of me I can’t understand why members of the legislature, regardless of their party who come from rural Minnesota would want to make it harder for rural Minnesotans, a majority of whom tend to be elderly on fixed incomes and retired, it just strikes me as odd that they would want to suppress turnout in rural Minnesota.
Senator Jeff Hayden
One it would turn back history. We saw all of the great fights that we had around voter rights and other issues and this would turn back history. This would disproportionally effect the poor. This would disproportionally effect the disabled, young people, we just heard about college students, but also young people of color and also seniors, the very old.
And now to see people putting in legislation that is attempting to stop people from voting is disheartening to me. I think it’s un-American.