Legislation & Lobbying

ACLU Offers $1,000 Reward for Proof of Voter-Impersonation Fraud in Minnesota

Weighing in on a controversial effort to pass a Minnesota ballot measure in November that would require voters to show photo identification at the ballot box, the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union is offering a $1,000 reward for proof of voter fraud as part of a lobbying effort against the measure.

The ACLU is offering to pay $1,000 to anyone who can present evidence at its St. Paul offices before 5 p.m. on March 30, 2012 proving a charge, indictment or conviction for voter impersonation has occurred in the state during the past decade, reports the Star-Tribune.

“The bet is that no one has been legally charged, indicted or convicted for voter impersonation in the state of Minnesota between Jan. 1, 2002 and March 30, 2012,” said Chuck Samuelson, the group’s executive director. He argues that the lack of criminal prosecution proves there is no need for a voter ID law.

However, a leader of a lobbying force for the measure says it’s opponents who will need to prove in court, if the measure passes, how requiring voters to provide ID is a significant barrier to casting a ballot.

Meanwhile, doing so allows poll workers to check voters against other state databases, such as a list of convicted felons, to be sure they are eligible, Dan McGrath tells the newspaper. He is executive director of Minnesota Majority.

“They’re really concerned with making sure it stays easy to vote in Minnesota.” he said of the ACLU. “On that point, we’re in agreement. Where we part ways however, is we also believe it should be hard to cheat.”

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