The Hennepin County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday to oppose the voting amendment that will be on the state-wide ballot next week.
The resolution passed by the board makes these points:
- The language on the ballot is significantly different than the language in the actual amendment, and there are many unresolved details — including what kinds of valid “government-issued” photographic identification will be required. In Hennepin County, there has been no evidence — proven or anecdotal — of voter impersonation — the only type of fraud that could be addressed by voter ID.
- The amendment raises many serious questions about Election Day registration — a hallmark of the Minnesota voting system — and leaves many unanswered questions surrounding the proposed provisional voting system.
- The amendment will likely cost millions in taxpayer dollars to operate, and could result in unfunded state mandates that would have a permanent impact on Hennepin and its cities – potentially resulting in higher property taxes or the elimination of services.
- Constitutional amendments should not be used to stifle, prevent or restrict voting in any way, but should expand and guarantee voting rights and encourage voter participation.
- The board is responsible for the conduct of elections in Hennepin and is uniquely positioned to speak to the integrity of the elections system — including the quality of county and city elections staff; the safeguards that are in place to ensure that elections are fair and that only qualified voters vote; and the training of election judges that takes place.
The commissioners also voted to give themselves no pay increase in 2013 but to raise their pay by 2.5 percent in 2014. Commissioners’ salaries have been frozen since 2009 at about $97,000 per year.