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Letter: Keep election process honest

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In my opinion, in his letter of Feb. 3, Graden West managed to spew out another unsubstantiated fact. It's no big secret that a few shortcomings exist in our electoral process that can make it susceptible to voter fraud. One of the shortcomings could have been corrected years ago, if Congress would have enacted a photo ID law.

Apparently, West believes that by throwing out a misleading figure, he feels he can sway public opinion enough to accept his version of the "facts."

For example, he stated there have been only 0.009 convictions of voter fraud in Minnesota. I'd like to take issue with that number because he hasn't offered any proof to substantiate that figure.

Minnesota Public Radio reported last week that Hennepin County's top prosecutor submitted a list of 47 names of people who have been (or soon will be) charged with voter fraud that stems from the 2008 general election. Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said that 43 of those cases involve double voting.

Minnesota Majority is a watchdog group that has also brought charges against 1,250 people who they claim have committed voter fraud. Of that number, 800 have been accused of voting while they were still felons.

The executive director of Minnesota Majority, Michael McGrath, thinks far more people have committed voter fraud than have been charged. He went on to explain the lower number of charges, 800 instead of 1,250. He said probation officers failed to have felons sign a form that would make them acknowledge they were felons and, as such, ineligible to vote.

Opponents are convinced that a picture ID law will intimidate voters. Why would they feel intimidated if they weren't doing anything wrong?

My point is this: For every vote that is cast fraudulently, an equal number of honest votes are automatically canceled out. In my opinion, the longer the practice of fraudulent voting is considered acceptable, the sooner honest voters will quit voting. Maybe that's what West would like to see, to have honest voters stop voting. Then liberals would have complete control of the electoral process?

Norm Baker

Willmar

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