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Sunday, July 18, 2010

Dear Mr. Attorney General~We Need To Talk

Dear Mr. Attorney General,

One of the most concerning issues facing our country today is voter fraud. I have been

researching this for the last year and am deeply disturbed at the magnitude of voter fraud cases throughout our country and, more particularly here in Texas.
How The Left Plans On Stealing The Elections

Texas Watchdog
, an internet based investigative organization, has reported rampant voter fraud throughout this state. In a recent article dated 7/13/10, they write about an event, the annual state election law seminar presented by the Texas Secretary of State, that will be taking place in August to discuss the issue.

In the article it states that legislators "have shown little interest in looking at voter fraud issues in South Texas"

It goes on to say, "Case in point: The state Senate Committee on State Affairs meets Wednesday to discuss voting issues. But like its House counterpart, mail-in ballot voter fraud, the most prevalent form of election malfeasance, will not be discussed.

Instead, the nine-member panel will study ways to improve the efficiency and accuracy of voter rolls and discuss the military absentee voting process.

The House elections committee, which has noted in its annual pre-session report that mail-in ballot fraud needs to be addressed by lawmakers, met last month and announced that it would continue to pursue a bill requiring all voters to produce valid government identification before casting a ballot in person.

In preparation for the upcoming session, the committee has not asked for a study of anything related to mail-in voter fraud, a committee clerk said.

Voters and officials discouraged by the free reign held by vote harvesters, or politiqueras, have mostly given up asking Austin for help."

Mail-in voter fraud subject of election administrators
Mail-in ballot measures haven't topped lawmakers list of priorities for voting legislation

How can this be? How can our elected officials allow this to be tolerated? Why isn't there more OUTRAGE? The only explanation as to why they might turn a blind eye is that they are benefiting from these tainted elections.

Case in point from the same article:
“I know that my party, the Democratic Party, is not interested in fixing this,” said Ruben Peña, who lost a race for a Cameron County commission spot in an April primary. He blames mail-in ballot fraud and the work of vote harvesters, and points to the fact that while he won the early voting and Election Day balloting, he lost the mail-in contest.

He also lost a subsequent legal appeal, and the election was handed to his foe, Ernie L. Hernandez Jr.

“This use of mail-in ballots is how Democrats in this area mobilize votes,” Peña said. “I would never approach a legislator from here on this. I would be wasting my time. I would have better luck approaching a Republican from the north or the east part of the state without ties to this area.”

Vote harvesters are individuals who shepherd mail-in ballots, which are used mostly by elderly voters who cannot get to the polls. In some cases, the politiqueras, paid by a group of like-minded candidates, come to the home of the voter, encouraging the voter to cast a ballot for particular candidates, and then take the ballot to the mailbox.

Influencing a vote and possessing the ballot of another person are both misdemeanors."

A similar situation to Mr. Pena’s took place this past May in Dallas and Fort Worth:

A local election for JP in Ft Worth in May was won by a candidate that lost at the polls (44% vs 56%) but won because of mail-in ballots (66% vs 33%). She won the election by 181 votes. Many of the "mail in" ballots from the race didn't have stamps or had stamps but no marking that showed it was processed by the postal service.
Trial focuses on murky mail-in ballots

The case in Dallas mirrors the scenario in Fort Worth. One candidate wins the election at the polls but loses the election because of an inordinate amount of mail in ballots for the opponent that pushes them over the edge to win.
Dallas County JP accuses victorious rival of mail-in ballot fraud
Dallas County judge offers $500 to those who help root out election cheats

Another case getting national attention is the election of Al Franken in Minnesota. A watchdog group, Minnesota Majority has investigated the election between Al Franken (D) and Sen. Norm Coleman (R). This election had so many red flags that it was not surprising when many reports were questioning the final vote count. After an 18-month investigation, The Minnesota Majority found that Franken’s win may have been decided by convicted felons who voted illegally in Minnesota's Twin Cities.

What I find amazing about the possibility that Mr. Franken won the election because of fraud, is that he gets to keep his seat even if it is determined that he's not the legitimate winner of the election.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME? What kind of message does that send? How can this be legal? We MUST change the laws that allow this! Any elected official that has been deemed to have won because of fraud MUST be required to vacate their position!
As disturbing as all of this is, what is even more disturbing is that the punishment doesn't seem to fit the crime.

In the Texas Watchdog article, it goes on to address the criminal aspect of mail in voter fraud.

"The law provides a misdemeanor penalty for most crimes related to mail-in balloting, but the majority of convictions result in plea bargains with no jail time.

In another article from the Texas Watchdog, it goes on to say, "The current penalties for committing the fraud -- in the same penalty class as first-offense shoplifting -- are doing little to discourage the practice. Despite cautionary reports from elected leaders in Austin, lawmakers have failed to address the issue of a tainted mail-in ballot process."

SERIOUSLY? Comparing the compromising of our election process to shoplifting? How in the world can we allow this? This is OUTRAGEOUS!

We must make voter fraud carry much stiffer penalties! My goodness, if our election process is compromised, nothing else really matters!

“Stiffer penalties for this type of behavior would be a deterrent,” said Mauricio Julian Cuellar Jr., a reporter at the Alice Echo-News Journal, who covers voting issues in Jim Wells County. “As it is now, they know that it’s a slap on the wrist. And they make enough money to make it worth the risk.”

Julian Cuellar's newspaper is the one that investigated voting problems in 2008.

One individual admitted to the paper to voting violations while working for a man who was eventually elected as the district attorney in Jim Wells and Brooks County.

“A canvasser who apparently worked exclusively for 79th District Attorney candidate Armando Barerra admits she filled out mail-in applications incorrectly, marked ballots in support of Barrera and handled about 50 ballots.

Cindy Villarreal said she worked for $150 a week to assist in Barrera’s campaign. According to the campaign reports submitted by Barrera, Villarreal was paid a total of $750 for work during the March 4 Primary.

“I made sure that (Barrera) was marked on the ballot because I was helping him,” Villarreal said. “... I went to the mailbox (Post Office) and I threw (the ballots) in there.”

She said she also marked votes for Justice of the Peace Pct. 1 candidate Guadalupe Martinez, District Judge Richard Terrell and Sheriff Oscar Lopez, just to help them out even though she wasn’t getting paid by those candidates.”

In the course of its reporting, the newspaper discovered that eight individuals had mail-in ballot applications submitted in their name without their knowing of it.

In another case, a voter told of a politiquero coming by the home of his parents repeatedly, asking for their mail-in ballots.

And in yet another case, nine employees of a single county commissioner had requested mail-in ballots and cited disability as the reason, even though they were not disabled.

I have found cases of citizens that have gone to the polls to vote and are told they already had voted absentee. The problem is that they never voted absentee.

In January, while researching voter fraud, I happened upon a riveting documentary, "We Will Not Be Silenced". Those videos are just now going viral because of the NBPP/DOJ scandal. In this documentary, Election officials in Texas accuse the Obama campaign workers of fraud and intimidation against Hilary Clinton's Campaign during the 2008 election.

This documentary should send chills up everyone's spine.

Another vehicle for this planned hijacking of democracy is a below-the-radar non-federal "527" group, The Secretary of State Project. The group was co-founded in July 2006 by James Rucker, formerly director of grassroots mobilization for Political Action and Civic Action. Rucker is also a co-founder of Color of Change, a race-baiting left-wing hate group.

This group is going state by state to try to undermine the right to a legitimate election. They have targeted the position of Secretary of State to get their left-wing Progressive candidates elected into office. This will be devastating to our country. In my opinion, the sole purpose of this mission, is to have someone in power that can protect their illegitimate elections.

The following is taken from their website:
"To Our SoS Project Supporters -

Since we launched in the fall of 2005, we have engaged in eleven races and have backed the winning candidate in nine states, including: Ohio, Minnesota, Iowa, Oregon, New Mexico, Montana, Nevada, West Virginia and Missouri. We lost only in Michigan and Colorado (and there by a tiny margin).

In 2008, we ran a sophisticated, highly targeted campaign in Montana which made the difference in a major upset – ousting the incumbent Republican Secretary of State. Most analysts anticipate a tough 2010 Senate race in Montana, and it is critical to have a fair Secretary of State in place. In Oregon last year we helped beat back a late unexpected surge to capture a critical open seat.

We are proud of our 2006 victory in Minnesota, where long time reformer Mark Ritchie pulled off a major upset, with our support. He was under fierce media and legal scrutiny as he oversaw the recount of the Franken/Coleman senatorial race, and operated with transparency and integrity, such that the Minnesota Supreme Court unanimously ruled to uphold the extremely close election results, finally sending Franken to the Senate, where his vote is much needed.

With your support, we have made a major difference. We can be sure that the Republicans and the opponents of honest elections will try triply hard to regain lost seats and capture seats held by reformers.

~Secretary of State Project~

In many states where they have elected a Progressive Secretary of State, they have made the election process so lax it is obvious it is being done intentionally in order to overwhelm the system to win elections.

Ironically the website says it is to protect the vote when in fact it's to protect the fraudulent vote. They want to accuse those that want to make sure that our election process is not compromised as racists that hate the poor and disenfranchised. That's their answer to everything. To marginalize and try to silence anyone that may shine the light on the fraud and deceit within their party.

In an article from 11/7/08, The American Spectator best describes the Secretary of State Project as: “The secretary of state candidates the group endorses sing the same familiar song about electoral integrity issues: Voter fraud is largely a myth, vote suppression is used widely by Republicans, cleansing the dead and fictional characters from voter rolls should be avoided until embarrassing media reports emerge, and anyone who demands that a voter produce photo identification before pulling the lever is a racist, democracy-hating Fascist.

In another article dated 12/4/09, they go on to reiterate my feelings by saying: "A group backed by Soros is gearing up to steal the 2012 election for President Obama and congressional Democrats by installing left-wing Democrats as secretaries of state across the nation. From such posts, secretaries of state can help tilt the electoral playing field.

To understand the magnitude of this, citizens throughout this country need to understand the responsibilities of the Secretary of State. It is my belief that most people are unaware of this subtle infiltration from the left into one of the most important positions of power within their state. Since the Governor of Texas is the one that appoints our Secretary of State, this upcoming election for Governor is critical. We must ensure our elections are legitimate.

The state Secretary of State is responsible for a wide range of government activities:

*ELECTION RELATED: The Secretary of State is often the state's MAIN election official and operates the office that REGISTERS CANDIDATES. Citizens can usually get voter registration and poll location information on websites of the Secretary of State.

* BUSINESS RELATED: The Secretary of State's office usually registers businesses and NONPROFIT organizations.

* OTHER DUTIES: In some instances, the Secretary of State oversees the state's archives or library, the department of administration that handles the state's operations, and issues automobile registration.

It is no secret that Texas has a huge bull’s eye on it. The Progressives would love to take over Texas. I feel quite confident saying that they will stop at NOTHING to win the State Capitol and all other seats possible.

They have been refining the ways to perpetrate voter fraud through the last elections. Mark my word, if we are complacent, they will take over this state. The sad thing is that, in the event they do win this upcoming election, it will be through fraud and deceit. Texans will lose much more than the election.

I beg of you to take a serious look at what is happening in our state. I can't think of another thing that could impact our future more profoundly. If we can't be sure that our votes really do count, our destiny will be determined not by us, but by those that don't play by the rules and will win at any cost. They will do whatever they need to do to win because, in their minds, the end justifies the means.

*What is being done to strengthen the laws protecting our votes?
*What is being done to ensure that someone found guilty of voter fraud will face harsh punishment to include a lengthy jail term as well as a hefty fine?
*What can be done to eliminate these harvesters from being able to canvas apartments and neighborhoods and control/influence these people’s votes?
*What is being done to scrub dead people and ineligible voters from the rolls?

The Minnesota Majority has offered up these suggestions to reform election laws in their state. I concur with their reform ideas.

Minnesota Majority is also calling for specific reforms in Minnesota’s election laws. Specifically, these reforms include:
a. Require voters to present a government-issued photographic identification in order to vote in an election;
b. Require the Secretary of State to employ specific data verification and validation techniques to ensure the accuracy and integrity of Minnesota's voter rolls;
c. Require the Secretary of State to flag voter registration records that fail to meet a specific standard for accuracy and completeness so that these voters can be "challenged" and corrected by county election officials at the polls before allowing an improperly registered individual to vote;
d. Require a periodic independent audit of the voter registration system;
e. Require voters to register at least 30 days prior to an election so that all voters can be certified as being legally qualified to vote prior to casting a ballot on Election Day;
f. Eliminate manual recounts and limit recounts to machine-only resubmissions.”

At the end of my letter I have copied the full investigation of theirs regarding the 2008 election in their state. I would encourage you to review their findings as many of their findings and suggestions could also benefit our state.

I know that you take voter fraud seriously. I know you understand the gravity of a compromised election process. As our Attorney General, I ask that you take ALL steps necessary to protect our votes. Anything short of that will lead to the slow decay of our democracy.

I feel that we are living in perilous times. I see this country on the brink of self destruction. There is an attempt by a minority of the population to undermine our founding principles. We must stand up to the political correctness that will ultimately lead to end of this great country as we have known it.

As Joseph Stalin said: "The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything."

Thank you for all you do for our state.

God Bless you, your staff and your family,

Michele Austin

Related Links:
Election Law Center

American Thinker

The Heritage Foundation

The Pew Center

The Texas Tribune

AEI Brookings Institute~Election Administration Profiles all 50 states

Election Neutrality Now

MacIver Institute

Become a Poll Worker

The Wall Street Journal

World Net Daily~Stealing the Next Election

Washington Examiner

JS Online

The Center for Public Integrity

The Blog Prof

U.S. Electoral College

State and Local Government Offices

The Case for Investigation and Reform By the Minnesota Majority:


Prior to the 2008 general election, Minnesota Majority conducted a review of Minnesota’s voter records and discovered a number of apparent irregularities, including double voting, vacant and non-deliverable addresses used in voter registrations, deceased people remaining on voter registration lists, felons newly registered to vote, duplicate voter registration records, deficient voter registration records and other inconsistencies.

Minnesota Majority communicated a number of these concerns in a letter to letter to Secretary of State Mark Ritchie on October 16, 2008. On October 17, the Secretary of State responded by calling a press conference assuring Minnesotans that Minnesota had the best election system in the country. His subsequent formal response letter, received by our office on October 23, was largely dismissive of our discoveries. The Secretary of State failed to respond to our request for a plan on how his office would investigate these issues prior to the election. Minnesota Majority decided to begin its own investigation and recruited a volunteer who contacted approximately 25 voters in an effort to confirm their addresses. On October 29, the Secretary of State responded by calling a press conference in which he falsely accused Minnesota Majority of "voter intimidation." Secretary Ritchie went on to allege that Minnesota Majority’s volunteer falsely represented herself as working for his office, an allegation contradicted by the sworn statements of both the volunteer, and the voter Ritchie alleged she intimidated.

On October 31st, 2008, Minnesota Majority forwarded such evidence as it has found to date to 30 county attorneys and 30 county auditors. We requested investigation of these irregularities. According to Minnesota law, a county attorney who is notified of such issues shall promptly investigate. Several failed to reply at all, and two outright refused to initiate investigations, even though they are required by law to do so. Failure to investigate allegations of election problems received as an affidavit is a misdemeanor offense and any county attorney found guilty must also forfeit their office under Minnesota statute.


Since we were not confident in the assurances from the secretary of state’s office, we examined the voter records following the 2008 general election. Although updates to the statewide voter registration system are required to be complete within 6 weeks following an election, the secretary of state’s office did not report compete updates until late April of 2009, at which point we obtained the latest voter history records, which were the basis for our post-election analysis. First and foremost, we discovered that the number of voters accounted for having cast a ballot in the secretary of state’s voter files did not match the number of ballots certified by the election canvassing board. There were approximately 40,000 more ballots counted than voter histories to account for them. In addition, we discovered:

DUPLICATE VOTER REGISTRATIONS: We discovered thousands of voter records that have an exact match on the criteria of first name, middle name, last name and birth year. The Help America Vote Act (HAVA) requires duplicate registrations to be removed from SVRS.

DOUBLE VOTING: Using the SVRS list provided by the Minnesota Secretary of state, we found evidence of nearly 100 cases in which voter registration and voter history records strongly indicate that a single voter may have voted more than once in a single election. We’ve identified thousands of additional voter records that merit additional investigation.

VACANT AND NON-DELIVERABLE ADDRESSES: The United States Postal Service (USPS) has flagged the addresses recorded for nearly 100,000 voters as being either "vacant" or "undeliverable". We visited approximately two-dozen of these undeliverable addresses to verify the USPS results and discovered approximately 50% of the addresses in our sample to be correctly flagged, in that the addresses did not exist. We have taken photographs of empty lots and non-existent addresses where our investigation revealed invalid addresses.

RETURNED POSTAL VERIFICATION CARDS: In addition, the state’s primary registration verification tool is the Postal Verification Card (PVC). These post cards are mailed to newly registered voters. If the PVC is successfully delivered to the stated address, the voter is assumed to be legitimate. If the card is returned as undeliverable mail, the voter’s identity is in question and they are supposed to be challenged for proof of identity and residence at the polls in the next election. Over 46,000 of these postal verification cards have been returned to the secretary of state’s office as non-deliverable since 2004. About 30,000 of them were from 2008 and when that number was generated, mailing of PVCs to 2008’s Election Day registrants was not yet complete.

DECEASED VOTERS: Using a standard deceased matching service commonly utilized by mailing houses, we discovered thousands of individuals flagged as deceased who are still on the active voter rolls. Following the 2008 election, we were able to check the SVRS voter history against a list of dead voters and found thousands of potential matches. Further investigation into a small sampling turned up (high confidence match) death records for several voters indicating that they had died before voting in the 2008 election.

FELONS REGISTERING: Just prior to the 2008 election, an investigation by Fox 9 News discovered nearly 100 convicted felons who had newly registered to vote in 2008. Some were registered while in prison, suggesting someone else may have registered in their name. When these findings were brought to Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, he said he wasn’t aware these felons had registered, but assured the reporter that felons would be checked for and appropriately challenged for the election. See the TV news report by KMSP Fox 9.

FELONS VOTING: Following the 2008 general election, we obtained a disk containing a list of all convicted felons “on book” in Minnesota from the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Comparing that list to the Voter Histories in the Statewide Voter Registration System revealed 2,803 exact matches on name (first, middle and last) and year of birth. Checking court records against the BCA and SVRS data, we have so far been able to positively confirm approximately 50% of the felons identities and match them to SVRS voter histories indicating fraudulent votes. We followed up by checking polling place rosters for signatures of ineligible felon voters and made copies of some examples. In no polling place roster, was the required notice, “Challenge: Felon” affixed to felon voter’s signature line. We have forwarded the names of approximately 1,400 suspected felon voters to the Ramsey and Hennepin County attorneys for investigation. As of February 2010, Ramsey County reports having charged 26 felons with fraudulent voter registrations and 12 with fraudulent voting. They've reported 20 convictions. See our full Report on Fraudulent Votes Cast by Ineligible Felons in Minnesota’s 2008 General Election. See TV news coverage by KSTP Channel 5 here.

VOTE TOTAL MISMATCHES: Hundreds of precincts have reported different vote and registered voter totals in the SVRS system than were reported on election night 2008.

SVRS / CANVASS MISMATCH: A comparison of the SVRS voter histories and the State Canvassing Board certified election results revealed a mismatch of 40,000 unaccounted for ballots in Late April, 2009. As of September 2009, the discrepancy still had not been reconciled.

CANVASS / VOTER SIGNATURES MISMATCH: Examining the original polling place precinct rosters and absentee ballot envelopes in 5 Ramsey County precincts revealed that more ballots were tallied in the official election results than there were signatures of voters in those precincts. In 4 of the 5 precincts, the voting machines tabulated more ballots than there were signatures of voters who signed in to vote.

NON-CITIZEN VOTERS: Prior to the 2008 election, state Representative Laura Brod discovered that several non-citizens had become registered to vote. The non-citizens were identified by Department of Public Safety “Status Check” data. “Status Check” is an indicator in drivers license records attached to visitors in the United States on a visa. It is designed to alert law enforcement to check the individual’s visa expiration date. Only a non-citizen would have the “Status Check” indicator in their drivers license record. Rep. Brod brought a list of voters who had DPS records flagged “Status Check” to the secretary of state before the 2008 election. Secretary Ritchie indicated that he wasn’t aware that he could check for that, despite the fact that his office had been receiving weekly updates from DPS for nearly two years. Ritchie gave his assurances that the non-citizens would be cleaned from the voter rolls and checks would be made regularly going forward. A check of SVRS voter histories after the election showed that not only were some of the same non-citizens still registered, some had cast ballots.

POST-ELECTION REGISTRATIONS: The April 25th 2009 SVRS data provided by the Secretary of State’s Office indicates many voters were registered to vote the day after voting in the 2008 general election. We are attempting to ascertain the explanation for this discovery.

UNLAWFUL DESTRUCTION OF ELECTION-RELATED DOCUMENTS: Through correspondence with county auditors and county attorneys, we discovered that at least two counties have been destroying returned voter postal verification cards (PVCs) before the required 22 month retention period has expired.

NON-COMPLIANCE WITH HAVA AND STATE STATUTES REQUIRING TIMELY RECORD UPDATES: Several county election departments including Hennepin and Ramsey are consistently failing to update voter records within the state and federally defined deadlines. HAVA stipulates that the records must be immediately updated and state statute specifies 6 weeks from the election. Some counties are taking 6 months or longer to update these records.

DEFICIENT VOTER REGISTRATIONS: Minnesota Statute 201.071 requires voter registrations recorded after August 1, 1983 to include the voter's name, address, date of birth and signature. We discovered thousands of voter registrations that would be considered "deficient" under Minnesota law due to missing or invalid information. Minnesota law requires these deficient registrations to be corrected before an individual is allowed to vote. Records show that many of these voters have voted in recent elections without updating or verifying this required information.

OTHER INCONSISTENCIES: We have discovered several thousand voters registered after August 1, 1983 that had birth years suggesting these individuals are 108 years of age or older. We also found nearly 2,000 individuals who appear to have registered and voted before the age of 18.

The 2002 Federal Help America Vote Act prescribes certain voter registration record verifications that are to be performed by the Secretary of State on a regular basis. Based upon the apparent irregularities found on the voter registration file, statements from the Secretary of State’s office and reports from news agencies, we contend that the Secretary of State has failed to perform these required verifications.


We have called for a special independent investigation similar to that which was recently conducted in the state of Wisconsin. There, a joint task force comprised of the US Attorney, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Milwaukee County Attorney and the Milwaukee Police Department revealed election system issues strikingly similar to issues we have discovered in Minnesota voter registration records. An 18-month investigation found widespread record keeping failures, suspected double voting, fraudulent voter registrations, felons voting or registering to vote, vote counts in excess of the number of registered voters and other problems. Minnesota and Wisconsin have very similar election laws.


Minnesota Majority is also calling for specific reforms in Minnesota’s election laws. Specifically, these reforms include:

a. Require voters to present a government-issued photographic identification in order to vote in an election;

b. Require the Secretary of State to employ specific data verification and validation techniques to ensure the accuracy and integrity of Minnesota's voter rolls;

c. Require the Secretary of State to flag voter registration records that fail to meet a specific standard for accuracy and completeness so that these voters can be "challenged" and corrected by county election officials at the polls before allowing an improperly registered individual to vote;

d. Require a periodic independent audit of the voter registration system;

e. Require voters to register at least 30 days prior to an election so that all voters can be certified as being legally qualified to vote prior to casting a ballot on Election Day;

f. Eliminate manual recounts and limit recounts to machine-only resubmissions.


There are three common myths that arise in the debate of election integrity issues.

There is no evidence of voter fraud – This is simply not true. While it is exceedingly difficult to discover and prove who the perpetrators of fraud are, there is a mountain of evidence that indicates illegal voting is occurring. Prosecutions and convictions of voter fraud are rare because our system makes it nearly impossible to ascertain the identity of fraudulent voters. Minnesota Majority has compiled evidence including thousands of instances that indicate errors or abuse. This evidence has been provided to law enforcement officials for investigation.

Voter registration fraud isn’t voter fraud – It is if an improper voter registration is used to cast a ballot. Information in the publicly available voter registration rolls suggests that this has been occurring. Voter registration fraud can also be employed to generate thousands of bogus registrations that are used to obscure inconsistencies between vote totals and legitimate registered voters.

Requiring confirmation of a voter's identity will disenfranchise voters – There is no evidence to support this claim. In fact, the opposite is true. Legitimate voters are being disenfranchised now by a failure to verify the integrity of the system. When improper ballots are comingled with legitimate ballots, there is no way to retract illegitimate ballots from the system. Defending a system that doesn’t take meaningful steps to prevent illegitimate ballots from being introduced into an election undermines the votes of legitimate voters. It has been estimated that there are only approximately 40,000 Minnesota citizens that currently don't have a government-issued photo ID. Voter ID bills introduced in the past have included funding to provide free state-issued identification cards to these individuals. These ID cards would actually benefit low-income people by helping them better integrate into society. It’s difficult to function in society, let alone get ahead without proper identification. Indiana recently enacted a voter ID requirement and enjoyed record-breaking voter participation in the 2008 election.
Most Minnesotans have faith in their fellow citizens, but they also recognize the gaps in our current electoral process. A statewide opinion poll conducted by Minnesota Law and Politics in 2001 found that 85% of Minnesotans favor requiring photo ID to vote. This is a simple, common-sense measure that would instill greater confidence in our elections.


Minnesota Majority believes that four key principles should be followed when it comes to our elections:
* Everyone who is legally eligible to vote should do so – it’s a civic responsibility.

* No one should be allowed to vote until his or her eligibility has been verified - the lack of a photo ID requirement makes verifying eligibility nearly impossible.

* All voters should have equal protection under the law – today’s law is socially unjust as it holds same-day registrants to a different verification standard than those who register in advance of an election.

* Accurate record keeping and adequate controls are critical to ensuring the integrity of our election system – Minnesota citizens can’t have trust in our elections if there are widespread record keeping failures or inconsistently applied policies.

Minnesotans deserve to know their election system is of the highest level of integrity and will not be undermined by shortcomings in record keeping practices, lack of controls or inconsistently applied procedures, which create the possibility for errors and abuse.


Our calls for investigation and reform are not related to the Franken/Coleman recount. Our requests for an investigation began before the election. The US Senate recount simply underscores the importance of the reforms for which we are advocating. The security around the recount effort looked like Fort Knox. It begs the question why we fail to have a similar level of security around the front-end of our election process in voter registration. The lack of controls and verifications, especially in regards to same-day registrations, make the voter registration process ripe for error and abuse.


Research suggests there are widespread problems in Minnesota’s voter registration system. We are requesting an investigation into these irregularities and the enactment of common sense election law reforms to ensure that our election system is secure, accurate and transparent. Minnesota voters deserve to know their election system is of the highest level of integrity and will not be undermined by shortcomings in record keeping practices, the lack of controls or inconsistently applied procedures.

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