I vowed to give up sniping about Katherine Kersten's ill-informed and ill-tempered screeds and I'm sticking to that vow. However, since I have some direct experience with the subject of her column yesterday, I thought I'd share my little story and let you be the judge.
The thesis of her column, is that it's much too easy to vote in Minnesota and we need tougher ID standards to prevent what she insinuates is "widespread" voter fraud. I'll let others handle how ridiculous it is to insinuate such a charge without proof and just get right to my story:
When REW and I moved into our house in early October of last year we went through all of the travails that usually accompany this kind of major life change. By the time we made it to the DMV to update our Driver's Licenses/ID cards it was already mid October. So, we filled out our change of address forms, checked the little box saying we wanted our voter registration at this address and we were on our way.
When the municipal elections rolled around in early November we still had not recieved our new ID cards. This wasn't particularly troublesome as we had been assured at the DMV that even before we got the physical cards, the information would have been entered in the State's database. I would have grabbed a utility bill but none were handy since we hadn't been in the house for a full month yet, but I didn't think much of it as I wasn't really expecting any problems.
Anyway, we get to our polling place and REW gets in line ahead of me. Sure enough, even though she hasn't received her ID card yet, her name is on the list of registered voters and she is handed her ballot. No problems.
I step to the front of the line then, state my name, and wait for them to check off on the list and hand me my ballot. No such luck. The volunteer, a very nice older lady asks me how I spell my name and immediately I know this isn't going to be easy. I spell it out for her and she slowly looks over her list again...nothing. Apparently, due to clerical error, I was not on the list. So there I am no utility bill and a clipped license with my old address on it, nothing to connect me to this polling place...except REW, who has finished voting by this time and come over to find out why I'm still standing there. With her help (and sworn statement) the situation was quickly resolved, I voted and we were on our way.
Thus, I can personally attest that the "voucher" system is useful for something other than voter fraud. Not that my one vote probably means much in the grand scheme of things, but surely there are a hundred other times that it might be important. Something to think about before making serious changes to our election law.