When defensible decisions (online voter registration) are hurt by process

  • Article by: Editorial Board , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 7, 2013 - 8:56 PM

Voter registration, Senate building decisions weren’t optimal.

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davehougNov. 5, 13 6:45 PM

Spot on. Process matters because anything else burns trust.

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hawkeye56379Nov. 5, 13 8:25 PM

If the Legislature wants to set rules for online registration, that's fine. That's what they should do. But there is no reason to suspend registrations in the meantime. If they feel that they can improve the system they should just do it.

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mikehessNov. 5, 13 9:24 PM

These two issues sound different. Didn't Ritchie simply implement the same registration process/forms used in paper, in an online setting? Is that changing the law if no eligibility criteria were changed? That's different to me then the question if the building plan should have been snuck into the budget bill.

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merkinNov. 5, 1310:33 PM

So when do we get to sue the tea partiers for shutting down the government several times in the past couple of years. Talk about an abuse of procedure! And it's all over a bill that's passed and is the law of the land.

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chablis28Nov. 6, 13 1:50 AM

Ritchie is relentless in his efforts to give Democrats the edge at the polls! Lets get this job back to pencil pushing and take the partisanship out of it. Republicans paid a huge price with Ritchie at the helm.

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owatonnabillNov. 6, 13 6:17 AM

"These two issues sound different. Didn't Ritchie simply implement the same registration process/forms used in paper, in an online setting? Is that changing the law if no eligibility criteria were changed?" .......................... Good question. Owatonnabill doesn't know the process, either online or in person. But if the "in-person" route of registration involves positively identifying the applicant (ID card, birth certificate and proof of address, etc.) then no. The processes are NOT the same and unless online registration contains a proviso for as positive an identification as does the in-person version, it should not be allowed.

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cody1234Nov. 6, 13 6:57 AM

Processes for on-line and paper registration verification are exactly the same. Only the input document is different. The paper application can be mailed, faxed, scanned and emailed or dropped off in person. The on-line form is submitted electronically. The process for verifying the voter (through many state and federal data checks) is exactly the same whichever method is used. The lawsuit was filed by a very small group of people that constantly raise silly issues to cast doubt on the election process. Other GOP members must go along even if they don't think it's an issue so they can continue to appeal to the party base. Members of the DFL say Ritchie should have asked not because they really believe that, but because they will stand for election next year and are trying to appease the suspicious so as not to lose their vote next fall. All the hoopla is just politics. The registration system works great and continues to be one of the best in the country.

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Jakein08Nov. 6, 13 7:05 AM

I like SOS Ritchie. Having said that, I wish he would have run this through the legislative process, if for no other reason, to not give the "voter fraud" crowd something to crow about. Minnesota can be proud of being a leader in voter turnout and on-line registration will be another step to improve voter participation. Just do it the right way without giving ammo to the voter suppression folks.

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eddie55431Nov. 6, 13 7:10 AM

Owatonnabill, to answer your question, no, a registrant does not currently have to present ID to register to vote. That's what the constitutional amendment was all about. The DO have to be a warm-breathing body standing in front of a poll worker, with at least one other person to vouch, but they don't actually have to prove anything. Richie's system no longer requires they be living, only that the registrant have access to the Internet.....just like any other computer in the Cloud. It's POSSIBLE that Richie's system is actually more secure than the current in-person or mail system, but it's not up to him to decide that, election procedures can only be modified by a bi-partisan vote of the legislature.

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elmore1Nov. 6, 13 7:50 AM

Extremists like Ritchie are the "Tea party" of the DFL. Loose cannons don't belong in office.

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