Editorial: Weak process yields election-year mess

  • Article
  • Updated: July 26, 2012 - 8:41 PM

Rancor reveals flaws in constitutional-amendment system.

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anotherfourJul. 25, 12 7:05 PM

"It's [Ritchie's] duty to tell people what he thinks this law will do and how it will affect the voting system in Minnesota." -Sen. BARB GOODWIN, DFL-Columbia Heights I agree, Barb. It would be like pushing through a massive bill without reading or understanding what's in it, ala Pelosi. You lefties are always so concerned with the truth!

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login4Jul. 25, 12 9:57 PM

One big difference, the Affordable Health Care Act is not designed to discriminate against any one and does not suppress voter turnout. The AHCA is a blessing for this country. The proposed amendments are a curse upon this state and it will be a worse place if they pass.

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nasethJul. 25, 1210:01 PM

Pelosi understood ACA just fine, but--due to the massive amount of GOP propaganda--ala Bachmann, the people didn't, and meant that the truth wouldn't come out until people had the chance to actually study it. Since it was an almost decent first step toward health care reform for the first pretty much ever,Pelosi rightfully didn't care about the GOP's hyped-up, over-blown objections anymore. In essence, she was saying, "Table the debate and vote. Since we have the votes, it'll pass, so let's get on with this so people can learn what's actually happening." No, it wasn't the best choice of words, but the right-wing has GOT to let this go...

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anotherfourJul. 25, 1210:05 PM

Sure pal, you just keep helping us sink into bankruptcy. The authors of the bill don't even understand it, yet you do? How's Obmaa's record?

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ginny6Jul. 25, 1210:09 PM

The best way to deal with this mess is to VOTE NO ON BOTH!!

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mcjoe1Jul. 26, 1212:11 AM

If Republicans were interested in solving voter fraud they could've worked hand in hand with the DFL party and Secretary of State to implement the electronic poll books. So far the EPB proposal is the only option that could stop felons, remain flexible for same day voters, and give prosecutors photos of suspected fraudulent voters; and it accomplishes all this without requiring extra hurdles for those without an ID. For 100 bucks anyone can get an undetectable fake ID with proper holograms, working bar code, and mag stripe. If we want to really secure our elections, let's at least do it with something better than an easily forged piece of plastic.

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briechersJul. 26, 12 7:44 AM

I agree with the broader point that governance via constitutional amendment is not the best approach. However, voter confidence is extremely critical. Recent elections ended with recounts with one recount changing the election-night winner. Making it worse, winners in this state, assuming they truly did win, often win with far less than 50% of the vote. So most of us end up with someone we didn’t vote for and who won by razor-thin margins. Plus, recent winners have had a government-centric view of the world in contrast with the majority who strongly favor limited government (and probably pay for a disproportionate part of the government). To have to accept policies of politicians who clearly didn’t win a majority and may not have actually won the election is hard to stomach. Voter ID addresses one of those concerns. Perhaps another amendment in the future will require a majority rather than just a plurality of votes, at least for the constitutional officers of the state and federal elections. Some states require it today. To the degree that any of our elected officials believe in the importance of leadership, their job will be far easier if a majority (even if it is one’s second choice) voted for them and it would likely mitigate the divisiveness that simple plurality rules have contributed to.

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beebee82Jul. 26, 12 9:00 AM

Close elections aren't new and they are certainly not indicative of voter fraud. Simply because you dislike the recent eventual winners is not a valid argument in favor of changing our voting process.

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gandalf48Jul. 26, 12 9:07 AM

briechers - [I agree with the broader point that governance via constitutional amendment is not the best approach. However, voter confidence is extremely critical. Recent elections ended with recounts with one recount changing the election-night winner. Making it worse, winners in this state, assuming they truly did win, often win with far less than 50% of the vote. So most of us end up with someone we didn’t vote for and who won by razor-thin margins. Plus, recent winners have had a government-centric view of the world in contrast with the majority who strongly favor limited government (and probably pay for a disproportionate part of the government).] *** I agree with many of your points but I think when it comes to changing voting methods we really should allow the people to vote upon those changes through the amendment process. If we use the US Constitution as a model we will find that voting rights/limitations have been created through amendments (see the 15th and 26th Amendments). Therefore I find using the amendment process to enact Voter ID quite appropriate; on the other hand I feel that the marriage amendment is unnecessary (there is already a MN statute preventing same-sex marriage) and unbefitting of being placed in the MN Constitution, especially since opinions/acceptance of gay marriage is sure to change in the coming decade or two.

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gandalf48Jul. 26, 12 9:12 AM

mcjoe1 - [If Republicans were interested in solving voter fraud they could've worked hand in hand with the DFL party and Secretary of State to implement the electronic poll books.] *** Oh please, if Ritchie was interested in stopping illegal voters he should have come up with this idea under Pawlenty rather than waiting until the Republicans had already passed a bill which the governor vetoed and then used the amendment process. This electronic poll book idea was nothing more than a tactic to delay and distract hoping that the makeup of the legislature changes before any such bill could ever pass. Also, why didn't Ritchie remove the felons on the registered voter lists during the 2008 election? He was notified in 2008 and he insisted on doing nothing, he even had a press conference before the election where he said as much! Ritchie's feigned attempts at stopping illegal voters at this point is too little too late.

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