Margaret Connolly, Ramsey, Minn.
My grandmother graduated from teachers’ college and then returned to college to earn a nursing degree. She worked as a nurse practitioner alongside the doctor as life and death decisions were regularly made. She earned the respect of her co-workers and community.
Grandmother took an interest in politics and could hold her own in any debate, and with her two college degrees, ranked as one of the most educated citizens in her community. She organized political debates and campaigned for the candidates she believed in. Even though her opinions and political skills were sought, as a woman she was considered to be too delicate and refined to vote. But she never gave up and was proud, at the age of 33, to vote in the 1920 election and proud to serve as an election judge before she died.
I am proud as her granddaughter to continue her legacy of voting and having also served as an election judge, I take pride in the Minnesota legacy of high voter turnout and clean fair elections. I learned from my grandmother to base decisions on facts, not fears, and that the devil is often in the details.
The proposed Photo ID Amendment has no details on how it is to be implemented, how much it will cost and who will be paying these costs. The fact is it will affect thousands of legitimate voters in a scramble to obtain government-sanctioned photo IDs. It will affect absentee voters. And the sad reality is senior women will be the most affected, as they may be required to provide not only their birth certificates but their marriage licenses as well, documents from a time prior to digital records. Why are we even proposing a costly expansion of government into a historically effective voting system? I am told because there could be voter ID fraud. There has never been even one case of voter ID fraud in Minnesota, but it COULD happen. I am taking the advice of grandpa – don’t be wasting time and money on stuff that could happen; invest time and money in fixing the stuff that is happening. Good advice, and that’s why I am voting NO on the Photo ID Amendment.
P.S. I am writing because this is exactly what the women who were working to get the vote did; they wrote letters to the editor. Grandmother always said “Never underestimate the power of people who purchase ink by the barrel” and “people who read newspapers are those who will also vote.”