Editorial: Voter ID is still a bad idea

Published 9:40 am Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Minnesota lawmakers have completed the task of putting Voter ID on the November ballot as a constitutional amendment.

Polls have made it clear that Minnesotans are likely to approve the amendment, requiring that every voter show photo identification at the polls. Settled though the question seems, we still hope voters will think twice about adding yet another complication to something that is supposed to be a right.

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The attitude of most seems to be that showing identification to vote is no big deal, because it is already required for so many other things. But that’s exactly our concern. Our society is rapidly becoming one in which the assumption is always that someone is not who he says he is, or that some trick or scam is under way. In the case of voting, there have been almost no cases of fraud in our state. So why add a restriction that is not needed? There’s no reason to do so.

Like most Minnesotans, we don’t object to verifying identities when there’s good reason to do so. But when there’s little indication that there’s reason to suspect a problem, adding to an atmosphere of distrust seems like a bad idea.