Protecting a core constituency

Democrats treat illegal voters as a core constituency. There may be some other explanation for the Democrats’ adamant opposition to requiring voters to present photo identification prior to voting, but it seems to me by far the simplest and therefore likely true under a political application of Occam’s Razor.

We see the Democrats’ protection racket at work in Minnesota. Last year Governor Dayton vetoed a bill passed by Republicans in the state House and Senate that would have required photo identification. John wrote about it here.

Minnesota’s same-day voter registration law facilitates voter fraud. It is accompanied by an absurd system whereby a resident of a precinct can “vouch” for as many as 15 people who are not registered in the precinct and have no identification that would otherwise allow them to register. As John explained, this means that Democrats can station an operative at a polling place, bus in students from Wisconsin, illegal immigrants, and so on, and allow illegal voters to vote by having their operative vouch for the crew.

In his veto letter, Dayton said Minnesota’s election system is already “the best in the nation.” Dayton observed that “t]he push to require photo identification in order to vote has been based on the premise that voter fraud is a significant problem in Minnesota.” Citing no evidence, Dayton asserted that he “[did] not believe that to be the case.” Well, okay then.

Actually, not okay. There is a surprising amount of evidence to the contrary. It’s just that Democrats like Governor Dayton choose to deny it. They think illegal voters give them a built-in edge every election day, and we think they’re right about that.

Minnesota’s Republican legislature has sought to go over the head of Governor Dayton with an appeal to the citizens of the state to adopt photo identification by constitutional amendment this November. The amendment to be presented to the voters states: “Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to require all voters to present valid photo identification to vote and to require the state to provide free identification to eligible voters, effective July 1, 2013?”

That seems pretty straightforward, but the League of Women Voters has brought a lawsuit to prevent the question from being placed on the ballot. The League asserts that the mechanics of the law need to be spelled out in the ballot question.

Democrats rule the roost not only in Minnesota’s governor’s office, but also in the offices of the Secretary of State (Mark Ritchie, the defendant in the League of Women Voters lawsuit) and the Attorney General (Lori Swanson). They decline to defend the legislature’s proposed amendment. As Marcellus almost said in Hamlet, there’s something rotten in the state of Minnesota.

The merits of the lawsuit will be determined by the Minnesota Supreme Court. One of Tim Pawlenty’s legacies to Minnesota is a strong Supreme Court. My guess is that the amendment will be on the ballot in November.

Democrats must be making the same calculation. They have convened a “bipartisan” committee — “bipartisan,” sort of like the League of Women Voters is “nonpartisan” — to oppose the amendment. Among its co-chairs are Democratic former Vice President Walter Mondale and Republican former Governor Arne Carlson.

Was Dave Durenberger otherwise engaged? He is usually the man sent by central casting at the DFL to star in “bipartisan” productions.

Governor Carlson must be listening to a lot of public radio in his spare time out of office. With a little help from the left-wing media, Carlson has figured out this whole illegal voter thing. “It terrifies me,” said Carlson. “It comes from the Koch brothers.” I thought the Koch brothers were too busy taking over Wisconsin to meddle with politics in Minnesota, but Carlson is privy to information that has got him “terrified.” Maybe some warm milk will settle him down.

Mondale’s explanation of his opposition to the amendment is almost as funny as Carlson’s. “Minnesota doesn’t have an elections problem,” he asserted. How so? Mondale mentioned extensive, ballot-by-ballot recounts in 2008 and 2010 that found no evidence of fraud. In philosophy class, this is an error that falls under the heading of petitio principii, or begging the question.

Carlson’s bounce on this serious issue is hysterical. Mondale’s is nonsensical. In Minnesota, however, these folks pass for elder statesmen.