February 13, 2012
St. Paul, Minn. – Today, the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota launched its new Vote No 2012 political fund with a challenge: prove a case of voter fraud that would have been prevented by this new law, and collect $1,000 from the Vote No 2012 Fund.
Allegedly in the name of fraud, the Minnesota Legislature is considering a constitutional amendment that would limit the right to vote by requiring registered voter to show a valid photo ID with a current address in order to vote. As written, the only fraud this requirement would prevent is voter impersonation.
"There is no voter impersonation fraud in Minnesota," said ACLU-MN Executive Director Charles Samuelson, "and we are willing to bet on it."
The ACLU of Minnesota's Vote No 2012 political fund is offering a challenge to all Minnesotans. The first person to provide documented evidence of a case of voter impersonation that would have been prevented by this new law will collect a $1,000 bounty.
"This bill is just an attempt to stop common ordinary people from voting, plain and simple!" said Representative Tom Rukavina. "We need to find a way to create more jobs, not waste time on solutions in search of a problem."
One of the ACLU's fundamental missions is protecting the right to vote for all people. This includes protecting against voter fraud, which the ACLU has been fighting against in all fifty states for over fifty years. Among the cases the ACLU has fought are: illegally purged voter files in Michigan (2008) and failure to count minority votes in Florida (2000).
"We don't want hearsay, we want facts," continued Samuelson. "If you can bring evidence of a voter impersonation conviction that would have been prevented by this new law in the past ten years, we will give you $1,000. We believe this amendment push is being fueled by rumor and fear, but not facts."
People interested in taking the ACLU of Minnesota up on their bet can mail a copy of their evidence along with their contact information to the office of the ACLU at 2300 Myrtle Avenue, Suite 180, St. Paul, MN 55114.
Rules: Must have proof of legal charge, indictment or conviction for voter impersonation in the State of Minnesota issued not before January 1, 2002. Anecdotes, hearsay and unsubstantiated claims will not be accepted. Evidence must be presented at the offices of the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota at 2300 Myrtle Avenue, Suite 180, St. Paul, Minnesota 55114 by 5:00 p.m. March 30, 2012. $1,000 will be split among all legitimate claims, if any. Questions: call Carolyn Jackson at 651.645.4097 x125. Results will be announced April 2, 2012.