Keith Ellison Goes on Rant Against Voter ID Laws: ‘Clearly a Bad Thing’

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Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said laws requiring voters to present a photo ID are “clearly a bad thing” in a Sunday Twitter rant.

“If you believe that elections should be decided by We the People, then photo ID is clearly a bad thing. In Minnesota, we beat the undemocratic forces in 2012 but they have come back for more in 2020. Get ready,” Ellison wrote on Twitter.

He pointed to Minnesota’s 2012 ballot initiative that would have amended the state constitution to require voters to present a photo ID in order to vote. The initiative was defeated by 225,000 votes “because it suppresses the vote, especially of the elderly, people of color, the poor, military personnel serving overseas, and others,” said Ellison.

“In 2020 it’s still a horrible idea with impure motivation. We will defeat it again,” he continued.

He went on to claim that “no advocate of photo ID has ever proven that impostor voting occurs, except in extremely rare circumstances.”

A voting integrity group called the Minnesota Voters Alliance (MVA) is in an ongoing legal battle with Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, who has refused to release public voter data to the MVA under the Minnesota Data Practices Act. The group is seeking the data so “the public can effectively evaluate the secretary of state’s performance and assess the true amount of ineligible voting that continues to occur in our elections,” said a press release.

The case has now made its way to the Minnesota Supreme Court, which held its first hearing on the matter November 5. Both the Ramsey County District Court and the Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled that the requested records are public and must be released by Simon.

Ellison thinks that voter ID laws “deprive voters of their right to vote, reduce participation, and stand in direct opposition to our country’s trend of including more Americans in the democratic process.”

“Many Americans do not have one of the forms of identification states [accept] for voting. These voters are disproportionately low-income, racial and ethnic minorities, the elderly, and people with disabilities,” the attorney general continued. “Voters with social and economic obstacles frequently have difficulty obtaining ID, because they cannot afford or cannot obtain the underlying documents that are a prerequisite to obtaining [a] government-issued photo ID card.”

He said advocates of voter ID laws have failed to “prove that millions of now legal voters won’t be disenfranchised by voter ID.” Ellison concluded by accusing supporters of voter ID laws of attempting to suppress minority voters.

“Proponents of photo ID aren’t trying to suppress even five percent of the total vote. They know that an additional barrier to the ballot box may shave off three percent of the young people, working people, people [with] disabilities, people of color,” he said. “And that may be all they need.”

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].

 

 

 

 

 

 

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One Thought to “Keith Ellison Goes on Rant Against Voter ID Laws: ‘Clearly a Bad Thing’”

  1. William R. Delzell

    The real purpose of voter i.d. laws is to rig elections in favor of white Republicans. The authorities always single out non-whites, poor people of all races, ex-felons, college students, and the elderly because these groups are less ideologically attached to Tea Party values. This is NOT about preventing fraud; it is about violating the voting rights of those who are less likely to tow the right-wing party line! Let’s cut the lies about these voter i.d. laws.

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