Three days until November 6 and that means this is day four of reasons you should VOTE NO on both amendments on Minnesota’s ballot. I have to be honest with you, the reasons the Voter ID people are giving for why voter ID is necessary are so few and far between that I’m having trouble coming up with scenarios to rebut. Yet I soldier on! Read day one and the intro here.

Scenario 1: I might vote yes on the marriage amendment because I’m not super sure about same sex marriage, but I’ve never visited the Minnesota for Marriage (pro-amendment) website.

Please visit it. Visit the Threat to Marriage page right now. But only if you’re straight. If you’re gay, don’t visit it. You will either burst into tears or hurl your computer across the room and you don’t need that emotional pain/financial cost on a pleasant November weekend.

I know I’ve been a little bit jaunty and a little bit informative on these thus far, but I just can’t today. If you have any question of which side you want to align with on this ballot, please read this and consider two things — how it doesn’t make much sense and how truly malicious this group is to people who are LGBT. It’s like even when they’re pretending they ‘hate the sin, love the sinner,’ they can’t shake the poisonous hatred that actually exists in them.

Also, just to be bitchy, they obviously can’t find anyone competent to do their design because that photoshop job on the banner is worse than a 10-year-old’s attempt at the software. Look at the woman’s arm — it’s all bumpy and weird. And her shoulder comes to a point. Anyway.

Their overarching complaints is that suddenly “Marriage will be redefined for everyone.” Which, I guess means that … um … I really am not sure. Will straight people now have to consider marrying people of the same sex? I already pointed out yesterday that no church even has to marry any straight couple that walks through the door, so it’s not that they’d be forced to marry the gays (though they sure imply it). I guess it’s that on a governmental level, if Minnesota’s laws that make same sex marriage illegal get overturned or if they try to write new laws, then same sex people could get married and — I’m just not sure. Something terrible would happen? Because of the word?

Dude, did you know that if you’re not Catholic, you’re not supposed to take communion in a Catholic church? Even if you’re Lutheran? All this “YOUR RELIGION IS IN JEOPARDY” stuff is so not a thing.

However, while technically accurate (the Catholic Charities in Boston did have to choose between discriminating against LGBT people in adoptions or to stop taking government money), they didn’t have to close their doors. We live in a society with all kinds of religions and views and if you’re going to take money from the government, you should be serving all of society. A rape crisis center doesn’t check to make sure you’re liberal and voting for funding for them before they provide you service. The government doesn’t ask you if you’re a libertarian who wanted to cut FEMA before they help fix your hurricane-ravaged neighborhood. I’m not sure why we want to give churches special rights to discriminate.

Okay, I can’t take anymore. I’m sorry. I just went to their Myths & Facts page and read the “Myth: Redefining marriage won’t have an impact on anyone else’s marriage” and now I need to go throw up/cry/try not to hurt my computer. Why are these people so obsessed with the idea of ‘genderless’? You can just hear them gag as they type it. It’s so freakin weird I just can’t handle it.

I love you all, but I think I’ve suffered enough for this countdown on the marriage amendment today. Do you really want to be on that side of history? Please say no.

Scenario 2: The Voter ID site tells me this will actually help disadvantaged populations.

This is a point on their site that I came across this morning and it’s so cynical I just started laughing. The text is below:

Makes Life A Little Easier for Disadvantaged Voters

The voter ID bill will help people who may be having a hard time getting along in society because of a lack of identification by providing ID at no charge. This has the added benefit of enabling people to get work, open bank accounts and participate in other normal functions of society that are impossible without photo ID.

I try to be patient, but this makes me livid. First, it operates on the assumption that people without ID don’t work and it is no small jump to the tired anti-social safety net tropes of leeches on the system. Second, if you want everyone to have an ID and think that this would be good for society, there is no reason to tie that to voting rights. (It’s worth noting that there is a strong strain in libertarianism that would reject a governmental requirement for ID, so I don’t really get this argument in general if you fall on that side of the spectrum. I mean, you want to fight airport scanners, but want the government to track everyone? Weird.)

But let’s talk about banking for a moment. Of those who are “unbanked” or “under-banked,” the most common reason is not because they don’t have an ID, but because they don’t think they have enough money to need a bank account. Want more recent data? View the FDIC’s full report.

That’s kind of a sidetrack, but I want to emphasize that the pro-voter ID group is not actually interested in helping disadvantaged people. More to the point, let’s talk about how many people would be impacted by ID laws. (Source 1, Source 2 )

  • 11% of U.S. citizens (~21 million eligible voters) don’t have government-issued photo ID.
  • They tend to be young people, those without college educations, Latinos, and the poor.
  • 7% of U.S. citizens (~13 million people) do not have ready access to passports/naturalization papers/birth certificates. This means these people cannot easily produce documents proving their citizenship (Side note: I’m not actually sure where my birth certificate is…crap…)
  • Of course this impacts poorer people more. Duh.
  • This also impacts women: only 66% of voting age women have ready access to any proof of citizenship with their current legal name. This has really affected older women who never had a need to prove their names before (contrary to popular belief, not everyone travels on planes, and those non-working, current ID-less people are often senior citizens).
  • In fact, 18% of U.S. citizens over age 65 do not have current government-issued photo-ID

This list really keeps going.

The glib tone of the pro-voter ID organizations really gets to me. In our country, not everyone has the exact same experience, and I understand that if you don’t know people who aren’t just like you that it can blind you to all the complications they have that you don’t have (just like they don’t really know your complications). The fact of the matter is that this issue is not a simple one and the reductive tone of the pro-voter ID campaign should insult the intelligence of all of us. Repeated studies have shown that amendments like these have strong potential to suppress turnout by up to about 2.4% (more in certain populations, and with a general swing towards GOP candidates). Considering voter fraud is at 0.00000001% (see yesterday’s post), I think it’s pretty clear what messes up the electoral system more.


Stopwatch designed by Steffen Nørgaard Andersen from The Noun Project