A total of 26 felons have been convicted of voting in the 2008 election, according to a survey of county attorneys. Another dozen have been convicted of registering to vote.
That amounts to about “nine ten-thousandths of 1 percent (0.0009%) of 2008 voters” in Minnesota.
Two election integrity groups declared this morning that “voter fraud in Minnesota is not a problem” and announced that photo identification for voters is “unnecessary.”
They also called for changing state laws so non-incarcerated felons would be allowed to vote. Current law prohibits convicted felons still on probation from registering and voting.
Another recommendation: to stiffen penalties for people who knowingly block others from voting. Jail is recommended for those perpetrators.
Their recommendations come in a new report (PDF) “Facts About Ineligible Voting and Voter Fraud in Minnesota” prepared by Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota and the Minnesota Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance.
Another partner in the news conference, the Second Chance Coalition, announced it will introduce legislation in 2011 to allow convicted felons who are not in jail to vote. Thirteen states and the District of Columbia now allow that.
The data were developed from surveys of 71 of the 87 county attorneys and more than 93 percent of voters, said Kathy Bonnifield, associate director of CEIMN.
The findings of the report run counter to assertions by a group (PDF) called Minnesota Majority that thousands of felon voters registered and voted in 2008.
In fact, county attorneys in Hennepin and Ramsey, among others, have noted the inaccuracy in Minnesota Majority’s data.
John Kingrey, executive director of the Minnesota County Attorneys Association, said today that Minnesota Majority “wildly overstated the number of felons who voted.” He said the group’s requests to counties “diverted resources away” from more important county attorney work.