Letter: ID should be required for voting
To the editor:
I planned to file a complaint with the election commission but knew that would go nowhere with Mark Ritchie in charge, so I decided to go grass roots with this letter. I recently voted in the primary. When I gave my name to the election official in front of me she began the tedious job of flipping through the printout of registered voters, from the corner of the room I overheard an election judge ask me, “Did your wife register today?” And because I already have a burr in my craw about not having to show my ID to vote, his comment struck me as a challenge to my right to vote. So I looked his way and said, “That’s none of your d- – - business. If I don’t have to show an ID, then you certainly do not have the right to ask me if my wife registered today.” Incidentally, my wife had been in earlier to help our son register and vote. At this point, the election judge, to his great credit, immediately asked if I would like to file an official complaint. I probably would not have thought too much more about it but someone behind me decided it was his business to butt into our discussion. His suggesting that he would file a counter to my complaint and that I had no right for my issue was just too much for me not to act.
With a cooler head, I now believe the judge’s comment probably was not a challenge to my right to vote nor did it have any ill intent, however, and I hate this word, inappropriate it may be been. Most likely, he was just making small talk. If so, my snapping at him was undeserved and for that I apologize. However, if not, and quite frankly regardless of his intent, we must have tighter rules and regulations regarding our voting process. Really, if I don’t have to show ID, I should not have to answer questions about my wife and her registration. The process should be mechanical and fail safe with the core being that those who vote are who they say they are and that they are legally voting. I realize election judges, for the most part, have a thankless job and I do appreciate their help. However, in two recent highly controversial Minn. elections, there were precincts that had more ballots cast than registered voters. How does that happen? Minn. is fast becoming the talk of the nation with respect to election integrity or more accurately, lack thereof. Demand fair elections with voter ID required. If you use a credit card, buy beer, buy smokes, get a library book, give blood, you name it, you have to show ID. Why not in voting which is immeasurably more important.