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Sunday, April 09, 2006

Katherine Kersten's Korner

Weekends aren't that interminable, and it's (almost) Monday again. Time for another Katherine Kersten's Korner! Today's kolumn is about a favorite Republican bugaboo: how easy it is to vote in this state. Like many Republicans who believe that same-day registration and other efforts to actually improve democracy by increasing voter turnout are bad, Kersten is Chicken Little, screaming that "they sky is falling" and that voter fraud is rampant in Minnesota.

Wingnuttia Level: 10 (She's gonna blow!)

Like every Republican who believes that we need to tighten up our voting procedures, Kersten offers no proof of widespread fraud. No proof that vouching is allowing people to vote illegally. No proof that college students are voting in every place that they live. In short, no proof of wrongdoing whatsoever. Of course, this doesn't stop Republicans' vivid imaginations, where krazy Democrats vote multiple times in order to game the system.

Kersten seems to take significant issue with "vouching", that is, when a registered voter "vouches" for a same-day registrant under penalty of law, stating that the new voter is a resident of the precinct. Long used by people who have recently moved to a new place and haven't gotten their drivers license updated yet, vouching allows people to vote who would otherwise be disenfranchised simply due to the fact that they moved. I'm pretty sure that there isn't anything in the U.S. Constitution that says you can't vote unless you have all of your ID documents updated properly.

It appears that Kersten supports a bill by Republican Tom Emmer that would require proof of citizenship in order to register. So if you want to register on the day of the election, better make sure that you have a notarized copy of your birth certificate available! And if you don't, well, tough. Democracy only extends to the prepared, I guess.

Kersten writes, "Some would ask: Is there a real problem here?" Good question. I and many others are still waiting for real, concrete proof that voter fraud is a huge problem in Minnesota. Not just stories and "could happen" thought experiments.


At 9:28 PM, April 09, 2006, Anonymous A Reader said...

Strange how it seems like the problem is renters moving, as those homeowners are less apt to move. Anybody want to guess the percentage of Democrats who rent versus Republicans in this high home ownership state?

At 11:27 PM, April 10, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's also easy to buy a gun and shoot someone, but I don't hear KK arguing for gun control.

At 2:04 PM, April 12, 2006, Blogger Chris said...

There is a fantastic response to her article posted on www.christiansande.org

At 9:33 AM, April 13, 2006, Blogger Young-DFLer said...

Mark Ritchie's, DFL candidate for Secretary of State, response to Katherine Kersten's editorial is printed in today's (April 13th) edition of the Star Tribune. You can also see it at his website (http://www.markritchie06.net) along with his complete statement on Rep. Emmer's bill (HF 1443).


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