Tuesday, February 08, 2011

A challenge for Mark Ritchie

Opponents of voter ID say that there is no evidence that voter fraud is a problem.  They say Minnesota has a great voting system, one of the best in the country, and there is no need to change to a voter ID system.  But how do we know that?

Bars are routinely tested to ensure that they are not serving alcohol to minors by having undercover and underage patrons try to buy booze.  Wally the Beer Man was cited this last fall in just such an undercover sting operation by Minneapolis police.

Minnesota law requires at least one annual compliance check for any retail business that sells tobacco products to verify that only purchases are made only by those legal to do so.

We test airport security screeners constantly, to make sure they are doing their jobs correctly.  Sometimes the results are so bad, the TSA doesn't want to release the results.

So why don't we test the integrity of the voting system here in Minnesota? 

There is a special election in Northern Minnesota next week.  If Sec State Mark Ritchie is confident that our voting system is fraud-proof, let him put his money where his mouth is, and do a compliance check.

There are 44 precincts in HD 5B, so let the MN GOP pick 44 activists to do a compliance check.  Each activist would be legally authorized by the Secretary of State to attempt to vote illegally in one precinct, and would be responsible for recording their actions so that A) the false vote can be identified and removed from the pool of legal votes, and B) they can explain and demonstrate how and why they were successful or unable to beat the system.  Some activists could try the vouching system, others could take the place of actual registered voters.  Heck, one could even try to vote in place of Cathy Daniels, the Chair of the SD5 DFL party.

HD 5B is considered by the DFL to be a safe district, so they couldn't claim that undercover voters had help from fellow conservatives from inside the system.  And during a special election, both parties will have more than the usual number of poll watchers and election judges, so the deck is theoretically stacked against fraudulent voting.

If liberals are serious in their belief that there is no illegal voting potential in Minnesota, then they should jump at the chance to prove it.  They could head off the voter ID bill that is likely headed to the governor, and prevent DFL legislators in swing districts from having to vote against something that nearly 4 out of 5 voters support.

Bringing a weapon on an airplane is a felony, as is fraudulent voting.  But selling tobacco to a minor is only a misdemeanor, and selling alcohol to a minor is a gross misdemeanor.  Why do we let something as serious as voting go without testing, just because we can't prove there are problems?
Come on DFL, what could you possibly have to lose?

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