We Don’t Put Post-It Notes in Our Constitution: Defeat Voter Restriction

5 Nov

In the final stretch, poll after poll show that the more Minnesotans take a look at the Voter Restriction Amendment, the more they’re saying send this mess back to the Legislature.

Helping the momentum to defeat this poorly written, expensive amendment, 65 newspapers across the Minnesota and across the ideological spectrum have editorialized against the Amendment. Watch Our Vote Our Future’s closing ad:

We can defeat this.  The wind is at our backs, something no one would have predicted a few short months ago.  Then, the Common Wisdom in Minnesota–even in some progressive circles–was that this was a fight we could not win.  Polls showed large numbers of Minnesotans favored the concept of Voter ID.

The Bard of Big Lake: Mary Kiffmeyer’s “Artfully Written” Amendment

Some on the left have expressed frustration with Our Vote Our Future’s message of “send it back.” They complain that it accepts the premises that legislators acted in good faith when they put this on the ballot and that we need new legislation at all.  These people are wrong, and the swing in public opinion should tell us so.  You see, you don’t have to agree that all Voter ID legislation is wrong to agree that this particular amendment is a mess.  That has been the broad message, big-tent message — delivered by prominent figures from three parties and a broad swath of local elected officials — that has swayed people that what seemed at first common sense was written by people who had none.

In a debate, the Bard of Big Lake assured us her Amendment was “artfully written.” She forgot to add, “And don’t I look stunning tonight?” (Photo, Capitol Chatter)

How badly is it written?  Watch this MPR debate exchange between Representative Steve Simon and amendment author Representative Mary Kiffmeyer about the meaning of the “substantially equivalent identity and eligibility verification” requirements that would be placed on absentee voters (e.g, military serving abroad). After describing the language she wrote as “artfully written,” the Bard of Big Lake then says, well, a lot. There are many words – nouns and verbs and such, but not a whole lot of — what’s the word I’m looking for? — meaning.

Representative Simon puts a period at the end of Rep. Kiffmeyer’s ramble: “What a mess.”  He probably doesn’t like Ezra Pound either.

The reality is that Representative Kiffmeyer and Dan McGrath of Minnesota Majority –the only two surrogates the pro-Amendment forces seem to be able to find– have in debate after debate skirted every question about the cost, complications and consequences of their Amendment by essentially saying “we’ll figure that out later.”

Well, our Constitution is not a bookmark.  We don’t put Post-It Notes in our Constitution with reminders to “fix this later.”  Minnesotans understand this and are, increasingly, saying: Send. It. Back.

How You can Help Today and Tomorrow:

1. Persuasion. Arm yourself with knowledge.  Watch this video by Minnesota Public Radio yourself and maybe play it for undecided family members and friends:

Then ask yourself them: Should we be putting something with that many question marks in permanent ink, in our Constitution? Don’t fall into the temptation to argue the merits of their fraud argument. It has no merit, but that’s what they want us to be talking about.  The costs, consequences, and complications of this poorly written Amendment are all we need to focus on.

2. We need to fill Get Out the Vote Phone and Door Shifts.

I’m told people were pouring in to the offices of TakeAction Minnesota and ISAIAH this weekend. They are flipping voters to our side at an astounding rate.  Join them.  Take Action lists its GOTV shifts here.

ISAIAH, the coalition of over 100 congregations, has been making thousands of phone calls.  Want to talk to other people of faith?  Information on how to volunteer with them is here.

If you live in the Fifth Congressional District, Congressman Ellison’s campaign has been fighting this fight from Day One and can also use some GOTV help today and tomorrow.  Information can be found here.

One Response to “We Don’t Put Post-It Notes in Our Constitution: Defeat Voter Restriction”

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