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Ramsey County estimates $1.7 million per biennium for state-issued Voter ID

If Voter ID proponents are serious about not encumbering anyone’s voting rights, they’ll no doubt be OK with the $1.7 million tab … per two-year election cycle … in Ramsey County alone. Tim Nelson at MPR writes: “Elections officials in Ramsey County may consider an innovative response to a photo identification requirement if voters amend the constitution to require it this fall. Ramsey County elections manager Joe Mansky said the requirement could make voting difficult for thousands each year of county residents who change their addresses. Mansky told the county board Tuesday that they might want to consider providing IDs to voters at the polling places. ‘If people bring in the right documents, it strikes me that it would be possible for our election judges, who are working for us, to issue them a photo ID card right on the spot,’ Mansky said. ‘I don’t have a specific plan to do that, but I don’t see reason why we should not look into that as one possible way of implementing this, again, should it become amended.’ Mansky estimates the new photo ID requirement would cost Ramsey county about $1.7 million per two-year election cycle, because of the need for more equipment and election judges to carry out the verification.”

It surprises me, but North Dakota voters have said, “Dump the Fighting Sioux.” Dave Kolpack of the AP reports: “Voters have approved a measure that lets the University of North Dakota dump its controversial Fighting Sioux nickname. The vote sends the matter back to the state’s Board of Higher Education, which is expected to retire the moniker and American Indian head logo. The NCAA has deemed the nickname hostile and abusive and has placed the university under postseason sanctions.”

Sorry, a day late with this one. Since she’s not hamstrung by a union shop, she’s free to defend herself … by herself. The AP story says: “A Catholic school in Moorhead terminated a fifth grade teacher after she told administrators she disagreed with the church’s stance on gay marriage. Trish Cameron was notified June 1 that she wouldn’t be offered a new contract at St. Joseph’s Catholic School. The decision came after Cameron filled out a self-evaluation form in which she admitted to personally disagreeing with the church’s stance on some issues, but said she never brought those opinions into the classroom … . Cameron had taught at the school for 11 years. Catholic schools are not bound by the same employment laws as public institutions and can terminate employees for not properly teaching tenets of the faith, although the law is less clear on whether they can be fired for privately held views not expressed in the classroom.”

Have you ever wondered how many Hot Pockets you’d have to steal to bail your sweetie out of jail? Ryan Howard of the Fergus Falls Daily Journal writes: “A woman who allegedly resorted to burglary and theft in an attempt to bail her fiance out of jail was charged last week in Otter Tail County court. Kayla Ann Johnson, 21, of Fergus Falls, was charged with second degree burglary and gross misdemeanor theft for allegedly breaking into an acquaintance’s home and stealing money from a local truck stop, court records state. Johnson’s alleged crimes began the morning of May 26, when court records state she pilfered about $700 from some cash boxes at the Big Chief truck stop. A former employee of the truck stop, Johnson allegedly stole the money while the employee working the cash register dealt with Johnson’s drunken companion. Then, on the evening of May 28, Johnson and two other people allegedly visited a trailer home on County Highway 111 in Fergus Falls rented by an ex-roommate of one of Johnson’s companions. Johnson (and possibly the other two) allegedly took a TV, several video games and an economy box of Hot Pockets.”

MPR had a conversation about Minnesota declining the Common Core math standards. Here’s a sample of Tom Weber’s interview with education Commissioner Brenda Casselius:

“TW: One of the states that has adopted Common Core is Massachusetts, and a lot of times in education circles, Minnesota and Massachusetts are compared to each other as being high-achieving states. So, I wonder if it’s good enough for Massachusetts, why isn’t it good enough for Minnesota?

BC: I wondered that, too. The majority of states have adopted both. I believe Minnesota is the only state to have only adopted one (English language arts), and really, I think it’s about pacing and where we were at in timing and not wanting to change the game on teachers. We have a number of initiatives going on where we’re holding schools to a higher standard, and we want be make sure we can move those things in a timely way that’s strategic and purposeful.

TW: And in sum, you’re saying ‘we’re not part of Common Core, but that’s because we think we’re doing better things here and have more rigor.’

BC: Let me be clear, it’s not that we don’t want to Common Core, just to not go. We’re doing it because we believe we have a sound system right now that’s working that’s placing us atop other states in the nation, and we believe teachers know these standards and they’re starting to embed them. And we see our scores are going up in math, so we want to be sure we stay the course, and that we continue to take what’s good and make it better, and continue to move forward and support teachers.”

Meanwhile … Steve Brandt at the Strib has a story about the Minneapolis School District being well enough off to … dip into its reserves to cover the budget. “More families are sending their children to Minneapolis public schools. A school is reopening. The teacher ranks are growing. Yet the money flowing into the district isn’t keeping up with its spending, so the board plans to dip into the district’s reserves for $18 million to balance next year’s $741 million budget. It will be the second year in a row that the district’s solid financial condition has allowed it to draw from its reserves, and it might do so again next year. … The board is scheduled to adopt a budget on June 26. Drawing the balance down helps to minimize cuts in schools and reduces the risk that the big balance becomes a target for legislators or the district’s unions.”

The Wisconsin press was relegated to a chopper’s eye view of Scott Walker’s Brats & Beers Peace Summit. Scott Bauer of the AP writes: “The two dozen protesters outside the gates included those who have hounded Walker for months, along with Marty Beil, executive director of the state’s largest public employees union. Beil dismissed the cookout as ‘nothing more than a PR gig.’ If Walker were serious, he would meet privately and more discretely with lawmakers rather than throw a cookout for hundreds, ‘This is a perfect venue in summer to talk about issues right after the recall process,’ said Republican Rep. Scott Suder, majority leader in the state Assembly. ‘I truly believe all of us can find common ground.’ Rep. Gary Hebl, a Democrat from Sun Prairie, said the cookout laid a good groundwork for future talks on more substantive issues like job creation. And Rep. Peter Barca, the Democratic minority leader in the Assembly, said Walker stepped out from behind the grill to talk with him and promised follow up discussions with all legislative leaders in the coming weeks.”

In a Business2Community post, MinnPost contributor Brad Allen looks at the impact of Best Buy’s leadership crisis on its overall strategy: “With all the uncertainty Best Buy faces in executive leadership and ultimate corporate control, it might be easy to ignore the massive restructuring and strategic reorientation the company is also trying to achieve, but that would be a mistake, according to Bryan Armstrong, managing director at FTI Consulting, Chicago. ‘Whenever there are a set of risks in play around leadership, strategy or an unclear path forward, the risks surrounding the company supersede the risks surrounding the CEO position every time,’ he says. While FTI is not involved the Best Buy saga, Armstrong refers to his firm’s research on investor reactions to CEO transitions, which he recently presented at the NIRI conference in Seattle. The Best Buy board faces major strategic decisions about the direction of the company that ‘outweigh whether it has the right skipper in place,’ he says. The board could find ‘a superstar’ CEO but it won’t know whether its candidate has the right skill set ‘if it hasn’t identified the path forward.’ ”

The recently configured liberal website looks at Michele Bachmann’s re-election chances sans the usual “independent” nuisance. Writes Tony Petrangelo: “One knock against that theory is that fact that the DFL’s share of the vote in the sixth district appears to have a ceiling of around 43%. The hope of course is that without an Independence party candidate in the race many of those votes will migrate to the DFL column. How many? In 2006 and 2010 Michele Bachmann got more then 50%, so even if every single IP vote went to the DFL candidate Bachmann would have won. In 2008 however she only got 46% and the IP candidate got 10%. So if there was no IP candidate that year, would Bachmann have won? El Tinklenberg would have had to win 65% of the votes that went for the IP candidate, Bob Anderson, in order to have prevailed in 2008. While that’s not out of the realm of possibility, it doesn’t strike me as likely. … This year could very well be the perfect storm of circumstances that finally washes Michele Bachmann out of office. She is starting her campaign in debt from her failed Presidential run. That Presidential run has found her behind the eight ball in the money column and may have also angered some of her softer supporters.” Does she have “soft” supporters?

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Comments (41)

  1. Submitted by Madeline Anderson on 06/13/2012 - 06:48 am.

    Anti-Voter ID Effort is Ridiculous

    Where does Joe Mansky pull that $1.7 million number from? Thin air? What new equipment? [Except what he is proposing.]

    It will NOT require more bodies at the polls to check IDs. A simple check by the person already checking off one’s name is all that is needed.

    The anti-voter ID crowd’s scare tactics have become ridiculous.

    And what a shame that Joe Mansky is allowing himself to be used by Democrats invoking money scare tactics. I thought the guy was above that.

    • Submitted by Pat Berg on 06/13/2012 - 08:33 am.

      You missed the point

      Joe Mansky wasn’t addressing the CHECKING of IDs. He was addressing the OBTAINING of IDs. And the potential burden that might place on voters who have frequent changes of address.

      Out of his concern over retaining the ability of those people to be able to continue to exercise their right to vote without undue burden, he’s proposing a possible solution, in the event that the ID amendment should come to pass. His interest is in recognizing and addressing that burden, not ignoring it as so many ID proponents would prefer to do.

      Please read the entry again and pay attention to the point it was actually making.

    • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 06/13/2012 - 09:29 am.

      How ridiculous?

      How ridiculous is it to expect that voter IDs will magically appear out of thin air for completely free to be handed out to anyone who wants one? I had to pay for my driver’s license and currently there is a fee for purchasing a non-driver photo identification. What do you suppose those fees are for?

      • Submitted by Susan McNerney on 06/13/2012 - 01:41 pm.

        Ever heard of a poll tax?

        That’s what you’re describing. If you can’t vote without paying a fee, it’s a poll tax.

        If you read up on your American history, you’ll know that poll taxes have been a common tactic to prevent African Americans, specifically, from voting for well over a century. Poll taxes were implemented throughout the south in the 19th century for this purpose and didn’t go away until the civil rights movement. They’ve also been declared unconstitutional by the supreme court on more than one occasion.

        If you want to invite those earlier eras back upon us, I would ask you what on earth you are thinking.

        • Submitted by Pat Berg on 06/13/2012 - 02:21 pm.

          I’m pretty sure that’s not what Rachel was proposing

          I’m familiar with Rachel’s postings on this site, and she’s the LAST person I’d expect to support the idea of a poll tax.

          I think the point she was trying to make was that nothing is ultimately free. She was making the point that we pay for our driver’s licenses or State ID cards – all of these things cost money. So the cost of providing “free” voter IDs to those who cannot pay will come from SOMEWHERE – just not directly from those voters’ pockets. But it will cost, and it won’t be cheap.

          ID amendment supporters like to brush this “inconvenient truth” aside, claiming that the cost of implementing the requirements of the new amendment will be negligible. But such a statement flies in the face of experience and common sense.

          • Submitted by Rachel Kahler on 06/13/2012 - 03:49 pm.


            That is exactly my point, Pat. Thank you.

            You can’t get something for nothing, it’s just a matter of who pays for it and how it’s paid for. I am very much against this ID amendment. If we must impose a photo ID, I guess I would have to agree that IDs should be available at the poll booth. Of course, I’m pretty sure that’ll slow things down considerably, possibly causing many people to run out of time before the polls close.

            For what it’s worth, South Dakota used to–maybe still does–issue photo IDs the same day. The wait wasn’t even too bad. But Minnesota has more than 6 times the population of South Dakota and, even if you limit the rush for renewed ID’s to the nice months out of the year, you’ve got the population renewing over more than an entire year (3 months of summer over a 5-year renewal period) in South Dakota versus 1 day at the polls in Minnesota. So, even if we should implement the most equitable way to make sure everyone that’s eligible to vote can vote, I simply don’t see a way to do it (it takes weeks to get your renewed ID in MN right now, and that’s after waiting forever at the licensing location).

  2. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 06/13/2012 - 07:16 am.

    If only Sioux were allowed to vote

    they would have kept the name. But of course, it’s the wasichu who were offened by it, not the Sioux and what they say goes.

    • Submitted by Robert Moffitt on 06/13/2012 - 07:58 am.

      Cheer up, Dennis

      Perhaps they will rename themselves “The Fighting Wasichu.” 😉

    • Submitted by Jackson Cage on 06/13/2012 - 10:08 am.

      Goose, meet Gander

      Dennis, I’m confused as to why you’re not willing to go with “the majority vote” on UND’s nickname. Since you want to go with the minority opinion of the Aggrieved Party (The Sioux) in this instance, can I assume you’ll also be willing to go along withe the wishes of the other minority Aggrieved Parties on gay marriage and voter ID (the gays and the felons)? Or will you just be a hypocrite?

      • Submitted by Dennis Tester on 06/13/2012 - 12:06 pm.

        The difference is

        I accept the vote of the people. I’m not going to run to find a judge who agrees with me and have him overturn it because it didn’t go my way.

  3. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 06/13/2012 - 07:20 am.

    Re: the Catholic school teacher

    I would bet that a teacher who ate a pork sandwich for lunch in a Muslim school would be shown the door too.

    • Submitted by Pat Berg on 06/13/2012 - 08:26 am.

      Wrong analogy

      Eating a pork sandwich for lunch IN a Muslim school is the wrong analogy. A more proper one would be the teacher who had pork chops for dinner that evening IN HER OWN HOME.

      As I understand it, the issue here is whether it was right for this teacher to have lost her job over a private belief she held (and was honest about) when she said that private belief was not being brought into the classroom. As long as she is doing her job – during school hours – according to the dictates of her employers, then how far are they entitled to take their control of what she does on her own time?

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 06/13/2012 - 01:39 pm.

        Even better analogy

        A teacher who is not eating pork, but (on her own time, away from school) says people should be allowed to do so.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 06/13/2012 - 09:32 am.

      Maybe so

      How would you feel about the Muslim clerics trying to impose the no-pork rule on the rest of society?

      Would it make things better or worse to know that there was a network of imams who secretly ate pork for many years, but they were just moved around to different places?

    • Submitted by Matthew Levitt on 06/13/2012 - 01:31 pm.

      I’ll take that bet

      Find me one school with something resembling that policy. I’ll wait.

  4. Submitted by Richard Schulze on 06/13/2012 - 09:34 am.

    Opponents of voter-ID laws can overstate their case. But the unwillingness of supporters of these laws to grapple with their effects is equally troubling. Either they will disenfranchise precisely those voters that were statutorily disenfranchised for centuries, or they will cost states enormous amounts of money (ie, from providing free voter-ID cards, from making them easily obtainable, from education/outreach to explain changes to the law, etc). Indiana found that implementing its photo-ID law cost $1.3m, with an additional $2.2m in revenue loss. A cost study in Missouri concerned a proposed photo-ID law forecast costs of $6m the first year and $4m recurring. According to a Brennan Center report, around 11% of voters nationally lack government-issued photo IDs. A few mil here and a few mil there may not sound like much, but when state budgets are tight it those costs add up.

    Now, it could be that supporters believe that the marginal protection against certain forms of extremely rare voter fraud is worth the burden on state budgets and the risk of turning away eligible voters. But that is not an argument we have yet heard.

    • Submitted by Tom Anderson on 06/18/2012 - 10:03 pm.

      Indiana state $1.3 million cost

      And one MN county would be $1.7 million for 2 years plus even more money later? Thanks for the figures but I am curious as to why a photo-ID law would cause a loss in revenue to the state.

  5. Submitted by Eric Paul Jacobsen on 06/13/2012 - 09:46 am.

    Of course, “free IDs” will cost money. What do you expect?

    That’s what I found in the original MPR report from which Brian Lambert quoted.

    ‘Mansky estimates the new photo ID requirement would cost Ramsey county about $1.7 million per two-year election cycle, because of the need for more equipment and election judges to carry out the verification.

    But Dan McGrath, chairman of Protect My, said Ramsey county shouldn’t have to pay anything.

    “There’s nothing in the constitutional amendment that says anything about any financial obligation to the counties or to local governments,” McGrath said. “The only thing that’s mentioned is the cost is specifically borne by the state and that’s providing free IDs. So when Mansky says that the county might have to pay for identification or distributing identification, it’s fantasy.” ‘

    Both Joe Mansky and pro-photo-ID Dan McGrath are talking about the cost of providing free photo IDs to all eligible voters. Mansky claims this cost will be carried by counties, while McGrath claims it will be carried by the state, presumably with great savings.

    I side with Mansky (and Pat Berg), for two reasons.

    1. As we all know or ought to know, the government of the state of Minnesota, like other state governments under tight budget constraints, has recently shifted many of its financial obligations onto local governments. I don’t see what power the text of the photo-ID amendment has to make our state government change this habit. Just look at Article 13, Section 1, of the Minnesota Constitution, which clearly states:

    “[i]t is the duty of the legislature to establish a general and uniform system of public schools. The legislature shall make such provisions by taxation or otherwise as will secure a thorough and efficient system of public schools throughout the state.”

    This hasn’t stopped our state legislature from increasing our public schools’ reliance on local taxes, even though we all know this makes our public schools unequal and surely violates the spirit, if not the letter of Article 13, Section 1.

    2. Probably it would be very cheap to provide state-issued photo IDs for all citizens at a consolidated central location near the seat of state government, that is, in Saint Paul. But requiring citizens to drive to Saint Paul to pick up their IDs would be the opposite of convenient and would really strain the definition of “free.” (It would be outrageously unfair, too, not that any conservative cares about that.)

    The only way to make it really convenient for every eligible voter to get a photo ID — indeed, the only way to make the photo-ID requirement compatible with same-day voter registration — would be to provide the ID right at the voting place, which would mean providing a camera at every voting place, just as the Department of Driver and Vehicle Services does at every one of its licensing and examination offices.

    If the voter-ID amendment passes, and sadly we have every reason to expect that it will, I will demand (with every stubborn ounce of my weight) that free photo-IDs be provided for all eligible voters at every voting place. By all means, let us try to make the state government keep its promise to cover the cost of this requirement. However, I believe the program will unavoidably have to be administered at the county level, even if the state pays for it, and I have no reason to doubt that Mansky’s estimate of the cost is accurate.

  6. Submitted by Matt Pogatshnik on 06/13/2012 - 10:18 am.

    They are coming for your pork

    Yes, because our right to eat pork is totally under fire from Muslims.

  7. Submitted by James Hamilton on 06/13/2012 - 10:30 am.

    Ineligible does not mean fraudulent.

    “Mansky told county officials that the most immediate result would be to catch an average of about 40 ineligible voters, based on what he has seen of attempts to unlawfully register in Ramsey County in the last three election cycles.”

  8. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 06/13/2012 - 12:56 pm.

    Ms. Cameron was responsible for teaching the catechism of the Catholic church to her class. The fact that she disagrees with a core aspect of church doctirine, marriage, suggests she has an inchaote grasp of the material she herself was charged with teaching.

    Would you hire a math teacher that “disagreed” with division?

    This was a case of termination for cause.

    • Submitted by Jackson Cage on 06/13/2012 - 01:53 pm.

      Tom, that’s the argument you’re going with?

      really? So you have to firmly believe in everything you teach? Guess we’ll just gloss over the beginning of the civil war. And we’ll need to find an atheist to teach science. It’s just so fitting that a current member of the Ideologically pure Tea Party GOP finds no fault with another Religion demanding zero tolerance for any deviation from every belief.

      • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 06/13/2012 - 03:16 pm.

        Wait, what?

        Why would you gloss over the civil war?

        If you believe that religious faith requires a complete dismissal of science you don’t understand anything about religion…or science.

        You obviously are not knowledgeable about the Catholic faith either, or you would understand why the bond of marriage is one of the blocks upon which it is built. Doubts about such a basic concept call into question one’s convictions in all areas.

        • Submitted by Pat Berg on 06/14/2012 - 11:29 am.

          Wait a minute!

          She didn’t say she disagreed with *marriage*. She said she disagreed with the Church’s stance on *gay* marriage (in that they don’t believe it should be allowed). The Church wishes to place restrictions on which loving couples may marry. She does not. Which means to me she’s in favor of MORE people getting married, not fewer.

          That doesn’t sound to me like a person who “doesn’t believe in marriage”. Rather, that sounds to me like a person who believes in the idea of marriage very much.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 06/13/2012 - 02:13 pm.

      A math teacher who disagrees with division

      Wouldn’t that be like a biology teacher who disagreed with evolution, or a physics teacher who thought global warming was a sham? How about if they kept their personal beliefs out of the classroom and taught what they were supposed to?

      • Submitted by Thomas Swift on 06/13/2012 - 03:08 pm.

        AGW is…

        more a psuedo-science than a sham, RB. But a biology teacher that disagreed with evolution has indeed made the wrong career choice.

    • Submitted by Logan Foreman on 06/13/2012 - 05:03 pm.

      And that is why

      Religious schools are not public education. Proselytize on your own dollar. Don’t make property tax payers pay for religious schooling.

  9. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 06/13/2012 - 04:33 pm.

    Way to go republicans!

    You asked to have a “Free” Voter ID system set up when there is no level of problem that can justify a “Free” Voter ID system. Then you proposed deregulating those who stole our 401K dollars without any consequences. “Free”, in the eyes of republicans, means things like two wars, Bush tax cuts, and Medicare part D, all of which were unpaid for. The “Free” Voter ID system must be your attempt to get big government out of our lives. I guess the deregulation is all part of your fiscal conservatism. Now, those are some top notch priorities worth voting for. Wake up voters! The choice is yours.

    • Submitted by Pete Barrett on 06/13/2012 - 04:14 pm.

      A Pox On Both of Their Houses

      Don’t let the Democrats off the hook for financial deregulation. Glass-Stegall was repealed during the Clinton Administration. During the 90’s and beyond there were numerous Democratic politicians who gave Wall Street whatever they wanted. Remember where Robert Rubin before Clinton hired him?

  10. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 06/14/2012 - 08:03 am.

    This gets my vote…

    for the weirdest comment thread on Minnpost.

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