Religious Leaders Jam Senator’s Office On MN Voter Photo ID By Michael McIntee | February 7, 2012 LikeTweet EmailPrint More More on Minnesota Subscribe to Minnesota Follow this author Click photo to watch Pastor Grant Stevens and others take petitions to Minnesota Senate Majority Leader's office. Click photo to watch Pastor Grant Stevens and others take petitions to Minnesota Senate Majority Leader's office.Video by Nick Coleman Senate Majority Leader David Senjem’s office doesn’t get many visits like this says his assistant Beth Kleinboehl. It’s not often that a half dozen religious leaders come calling with a cadre of television cameras in tow. The cameras were there to watch the religious leaders present Senjem’s office with letters and petitions calling to keep the “voter photo ID” issue off the general election ballot. The leaders, who come from many faiths, said the Republican backed proposed constitutional amendment would disenfranchise hundreds of thousands of Minnesotans, many who are too poor or too disabled to get a proper government ID. Earlier they had preached to the press about the dangers of the amendment which one religious leader called “a devilish enterprise”. Senator Senjem was not at his office today, but will be back Wednesday when the legislative session resumes. His assistant said the Senator will respond. Read the letter and petition that was delivered to Senator Senjem’s office Dear Legislative Leaders: We, as people of faith in the state of Minnesota, urge you not to put a voter ID amendment on the ballot. People of faith believe that all human life is sacred. In virtually all faith traditions, God creates humans with dignity and value. God intends people to participate in the human community, and to be able to do so with inherent respect. We believe that democracy is most complete—and therefore most powerful—when it embraces people on the margins of society. We believe that democracy at its best engages participation from the most diverse and gifted gathering of God’s whole people. In face of these values, the proposed voter ID referendum in Minnesota seeks to reduce the number of people who participate in our democracy. Passage of the proposed referendum would primarily reduce voters of color, the elderly, students, poor and non-English-speaking voters. Effectively this gives more influence to a smaller number of wealthy, privileged and primarily White voters. Furthermore, passage of the referendum would effectively eliminate voting as a right, making it a privilege instead. People of faith recognize the proposed referendum as an attack on democracy, reducing participation rather than expanding it. It would also increase government expense and power, requiring an expanded system to evaluate and process voter IDs. A deeply troubling implication recognized by people of faith is that the proposed referendum would reduce the number of people of color who could vote. One of the primary objectives of the civil rights campaign in the US was voter registration. In its attack on citizens’ right to vote, the proposed referendum seeks to increase “white power,” and would dangerously isolate White America from an increasingly diverse and gifted world. People of faith see the proposed referendum as profoundly cynical and backward. Additionally, the proposed referendum would reduce the number of poor people who could vote, for it will be people of limited economic resource, limited time and limited mobility who will have most difficulty obtaining voter identification cards. By reducing the number of poor who vote, the proposed referendum seeks to increase the political power and influence of the wealthiest and most privileged classes of our society. It is for these reasons that we urge our legislative leaders to not put the Voter ID amendment on the 2012 ballot and ensure that Minnesota continues a proud legacy of high voter turnout and participation in our democracy. Barbara Thomalla, OSM Servants of Mary, Vadnais Heights Anne Attean, Pastoral Associate Ascension Church, Minneapolis Bishop Fred Washington Minnesota Jurisdictional Prelate COGIC Policy Board Member: His Works United, Minneapolis Cindy Boggs, Pastoral Associate Church of the Ascension, Minneapolis Deacon David Lindmeier Church of St. Peter, St. Cloud Elder Alfred Babington-Johnson CEO Stairstep Foundation, Policy Board Member, His Works United, Minneapolis Fr. Don Piche St. Joseph the Worker, Maple Grove Br. John Kerr St. Bridget Church, Minneapolis Pr. Linda McPeak St. Johns Lutheran Church, Shakopee Pr. Michelene Verlautz Augustana Lutheran Church, Minneapolis Pr. Patrick Cabello Hansel St. Paul Lutheran Church, Minneapolis Rabbi Adam Spilker Mount Zion Temple, St. Paul Rabbi Amy Eilberg Jay Phillips Center for Interfaith Learning Rabbi Avi Olitzky Beth El Congregation, St Louis Park Rabbi David Locketz Bet Shalom Congregation, Minnetonka Rabbi David Wirtschafter Jewish Community Action Rabbi Esther Adler Hamline University Wesley Center Rabbi Harold Kravitz Adath Jeshurun, Minnetonka Rabbi Melissa Simon Shir Tikvah Congregation, Minneapolis Rabbi Michael Latz Shir Tikvah Congregation, Minneapolis Rabbi Morris Allen Beth Jacob Congregation, Mendota Heights Rabbi Norman Cohen Bet Shalom Congregation, Minnetonka Rabbi Shosh Dworsky Carleton College, Associate Chaplain for Interfaith Life Rabbi Sim Glaser, Temple Israel, St Paul Rabbi Yonatan Sadoff Adath Jeshurun, Minnetonka Rev. Allan Negstad Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Rev. Anita Hill St. Paul Reformation Lutheran Church, St. Paul Rev. Anne Hokenstad House of Prayer Lutheran Church, Richfield Rev. Aretta-Rie Johnson Resurrection Temple Church, St. Paul Rev. Barbara Winter Martin Non-Denominational, Sortell Rev. Becky Sechrist Good Samaritan UMC, Edina Rev. Bruce C. Arnevik St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, Bloomington Rev. Chris Becker Amazing Grace Lutheran Church, Inver Grove Heights Rev. Chris Duckworth Grace Lutheran Church, St. Paul Rev. Dana Reynolds Michael Servetus Unitarian Church, Fridley Rev. Diane M. Roth Woodlake Lutheran Church, Richfield Rev. Dr. Charles Gill Pilgrim Missionary Baptist, St. Paul Rev. Dr. James A. Siefkes Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Rev. Dr. Paul Sponheim Luther Seminary, St. Paul Rev. Gary Dreier Christ Lutheran on Capitol Hill, St. Paul Rev. Grant Stevensen St. Matthews Lutheran Church, St. Paul Rev. James Erlandson Lutheran Church of the Redeemer, St. Paul Rev. Jane McBride First Congregational Church of MN UCC, Minneapolis Rev. Jen Nagel Salem Lutheran Church, Minneapolis Rev. Jin Kim Church of All Nations, Minneapolis Rev. Joanne Sylvander United Church of Christ Rev. Joetta Schlabach Faith Mennonite Church, Minneapolis Rev. Jonathan Zielske Hope Lutheran Church, St. Paul Rev. Joo H. Kim Knox Presbyterian Church, St. Paul Rev. Karen Stevensen Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, St. Paul Rev. Keith Olstad St. Paul Reformation Lutheran Church, St. Paul Rev. Laurie Eaton Our Saviours Lutheran Church, Minneapolis Rev. Lawrence Pray Union Theological Seminary, Minneapolis Rev. Lee Snook Luther Seminary, St. Paul Rev. Mark Vinge House of Hope Lutheran Church, New Hope Rev. Mary Albing Lutheran Church of Christ the Redeemer, Minneapolis Rev. Patricia Lull St. Paul Area Council of Churches, Executive Director, St. Paul Rev. Paul Slack New Creation Church, Minneapolis Rev. Paul Tideman Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, St. Paul Rev. Ralph Baumgartner Galilee Lutheran Church, Roseville Rev. Roland Hayes St. Michael’s Lutheran Church, Roseville Rev. Roy Vanderwerf Champlin United Methodist Church, Champlin Rev. Sandy Dodson Mayflower, St. Paul Rev. Stacey Gassman First Congregational Church of MN , UCC Rev. Stan Sledz Maplewood Rev. Sue Tjornehoj Director, Evangelical Mission-Minneapolis Area Synod, ELCA, Minneapolis Rev. Suzan Ireland Judson Memorial Baptist Church, Minneapolis Rev. Tara Bauer Plymouth Congregational Church, Minneapolis Rev. Trudy Cretsinger Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, St. Paul Rev. Wendy Jerome Unitarian Universalist Roxanne Smith, Social Justice Dir. St. Joseph the Worker, Maple Grove Sister Amata Miller St. Catherine University, St. Paul Sister Betty Kenny, OSF Sisters of St. Francis, Rochester Sister Gert Brixius St. Bridget’s Church, Minneapolis Sister Ramona Miller Assisi Height, Rochester Aaron Rosenthal Aaron Sinner Adele Brown Allison Devney Althea Danielski Amity Foster Amy Long Aneesa Parks Anita Swanson Ann Mickelson Hebble Ann Mongoven Anna Boyle Anna Lynn Ardyce Davies Ariella Tilsen Art Serotoff Barbara Glaser Barbara Nordstrom-Loeb Barbara Wagner Barbara Wiener Belle B Scott Ben Ament Ben Miller Beverly Ryan Bill Aberman Bill Daly Bill Keats Bill Lerman Bill Urbanski Bob Windels Bradley Schwieger Brian Zaidman Brita Kukich Bruce Eldevik Carin Mrotz Carla Johnson Carol Berg Carol Bromer Carol Nelson Charlotte Fisher Charlotte Stephens Cheryl Westman Christin Scanlon Cindy Croft Cindy Dubansky Dan McGowan Daniel Zielske Dave Snyder David Brom David Leitzman Debbie Meister Debra Hoffman Debra Long Diane Shallue Diane Vener Donald S. Masler Dr. Barry B. Cohen Dr. Edward and Joyce Ratner Dr. Louis Newman Dr. Ozzie Mayers Dr. Steven Derfler Dr. Sunday Enubuzor Elain Tyler May Elizabeth Andress Eric Howard Erica Bryan-Wegner Francesca Mucciacciao Francis Farell Fylla Kildegaard Gary Sheppard Gerald Effinger Gerald Martens Glenn Choquette Gregory King Gretchen Goodman Harriet C. McCleary Helen Gleason Jack O’Leary James W. Tuthill James Zenter Jan Daly Jane Frymire Jane Katz Jane Truhlar Janice Goldstein Jason Witack Jeanne Kaufman Jennifer Thaney Jennifer Toms Jerry Kahlert Joan Haan Joan Kampmeyer Joan Molenaar Joan Paulson Joan Urbanski Joanne Negstad Joe Foss Joe Meyer Joyce Bonafield-Pierce Joyce Levitan Judy Grauer Judy Jones Judy Miller Judy Rein Judy Will Julie Anderson Karen Starr Kate Hess Pace Kathy Keys Kathy Steinhauer Kelsey Johnston Kevin Anderson Kjensmo Walker Kristy Effinger Larry Hampel Larry Molenaar Lars Negstad Laura Hope Melton Lauren Bastien Lee and Diane Rosenthal Leigh Rosenberg Leonard Levitan Linda Fingarson Lisa Amman Lisa Cannon-Ratliff Lisa Mathieson Lisa Middag Lois Wintersteen Louis Haut-Prokop Mae Lou Thompson Margaret Boatz Margaret Villanueva Margot Monson Maria Menendez Marian Moore Marita Buold Martha Burchardt Mary Ann Sachs Mary Anne McGuire Mary Ellen Briel Mary Lerman Mary Louise Klas Mary Oberg Mary Slobig Mary Vitcenda Maryellen Skan Matt Gladue Matthew Hausman Maxine Barnett Melissa Rudnick Michael Risse Michael Trepanier Mitchell Davis, Jr. Monica Bravo-Carbajal Myra Hennes Nancy Kleeman Nancy Vanderberg Naomi Nygaard Nick Allen Nina Samuels Nonnie Osendorf Pamela Cook Pamela McGowan Pat Radecki Paul Grauer Pete Magee Peter Glick Phyllis Hill Phyllis Schwanke Raelinh Vo Randee Edmundson Renee Domeier Rhona Leibel, PhD Richard Morton Richard Nymoen Richard Wintersteen Rick Linsk Rick Miller Rick Osgood Robert Schwanke Robert Sunderlin Roberty Wagner Rollie Langer Sarah Barrett Sarah Huelskoetter Sarah Hurwicz Kogut Sarah Kise Sarah Mullins Sean Connaughty Shirley Vikse Sonja Peterson Sonya Kuznetsov Stephanie Stoessel Steven Foldes Steven Marchese Suzanne Bates Suzanne Bring Teresa Schwartz Terri McNeil Thomas Lee Boles Tom Bulger Travis Churchward Vern Rice Vic Rosenthal Wendy Horowitz William Bronn Support this story and all the stories from The Uptake. 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