In search of a problem

  • Article by: LORI STURDEVANT
  • Updated: January 26, 2009 - 2:52 PM

Thank Norm Coleman and Al Franken for this much: Because of their every-which-way probe of their disputed election, Minnesotans can be assured that voter fraud is not a problem in this state. "There aren't any allegations that I'm aware of of fraud or bad faith by voters," Coleman attorney Joe Friedberg said during his opening arguments Monday in the election contest.  "Nobody accuses anybody of it."

That finding puts a heavy burden on the Republican legislators who said Monday they will push again for a requirement that voters show a photo ID at the polls before being issued a ballot. That requirement would fall hardest on the estimated 135,000 Minnesotans who are eligible to vote, but lack a driver's license or other government-issued photo ID card.

The GOP lawmakers say that election integrity demands the change. But without clear evidence of a problem, it's difficult to justify an additional barrier to voting -- and an additional snag to hang up future recounts. If anything, the Coleman-Franken recount has shown that the simpler Minnesota can make its voting procedures, the better.

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