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Letter: Do homework on voter ID

Politicians need to do some more homework before they endorse amending the Minnesota Constitution to include photo identification requirement to vote.

They have not included what would qualify as photo identification. Minnesota identification cards or driver's license can be legally be obtained by people who are not eligible to vote.

The identification documents used to get either record have not been consistent over the years. In some cases people could have had a license bought for them by a family member and if they kept renewing the license never would have had to produce any evidence of their identity.

Since 2002, somebody getting Minnesota photo identification would have to provide a primary and secondary identification document. Married people have to provide additional documentation if their name has changed. In most cases that would be a marriage certificate.

I recently spoke to a woman that had been unable to get a license because she was missing a marriage certificate. She had been married in California and ordered a certificate from an online service. Her check was returned because the service had gone bankrupt. She contacted the county where she was married and received a letter stating that due to budget cutbacks her order would take six months. She is able to apply for a variance to obtain a license, but that will cost additional money and take up to a month for approval before she can even apply for the license.

Passports could be another photo ID alternative. The cost for a passport card is $55 or the book is $160. Birth certificates are often required to get the passport and they currently cost $26 in Minnesota. Passports take weeks to process and currently you cannot even apply for one in Willmar.

Another possible solution would to establish a voter ID card. People should not have to pay to exercise their right to vote. Maybe the politicians that back this amendment should pay for it or perhaps they should be removed from office and sent back to school to remind them how to do their homework.

Greg Gjerdingen