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Letter about Voter ID amendment

Fri, Sep 21st, 2012
Posted in Spring Valley Letter to the Editor

To the Editor,

Please join with me to oppose the Voter ID amendment. AARP Minnesota opposes this amendment because many seniors in assisted living and nursing facilities do not have up-to-date photo identification cards. If residents have photo IDs, they usually have the address from their former home. Currently, nursing home staff can vouch that residents do live there. Other states with Voter ID laws have made exceptions for nursing homes, but the current proposed amendment does not. If I were living in a nursing home because I couldn’t walk or see, I would still want to vote.

Lutheran Social Services and Catholic Charities, the service arms of our churches, also oppose the photo ID amendment. They work with very poor people who move around a lot for various reasons, who rarely have photo IDs with their current address. The problem is that in their current chaotic lives, their birth certificates may be lost, and paying to get one so they can get a Voter ID card so they can vote is too much work and too much money.

Another problem is the distance to the county courthouse to get a voter ID. Residents of Finland, Minnesota have a polling place in town, but to get a current ID they must travel 80 miles to their courthouse, not an easy trip for frail elderly voters. Let’s preserve the right of seniors and poor people to vote. If a new amendment preserving absentee voting and making exceptions for nursing homes is put forward in two years, I might vote for it. But this amendment is unacceptable. Please join me in voting no to the Voter ID amendment.

Pastor Karen R. Grandall

Spring Valley, MN

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