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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: State shouldn’t allow same-day voter registration

Voting is one of the most important duties we have as citizens of the U.S. With that comes responsibility to know the issues before making a choice at the polls. Minnesota, as you know, is one of 13 states that allow same-day registration and voting. I believe this should be changed, but also in a way to not disenfranchise any voter, and here’s why:

It is very easy to manipulate the outcomes when you have a large block of voters who are basically uninformed of local issues but who are convinced by a person that has “skin in the game” to register and vote. The problem with that is the information given to that large block is one sided to say the least. The opposition does not have the opportunity to give his or her side of the issues being presented before the polls close. The outcome will be skewed every time.

In the recent election, as an example, Joe Vene, incumbent Beltrami County commissioner, lost by a total of 77 votes. Nearly 600 students/residents registered and voted between the hours of 5 and 8 p.m. in Bemidji’s Ward 1 on election day. I would ask the question, how many of those student voters knew the key issues in Beltrami County to make an informed vote count? That answer may never be known; however, the fact remains one person lost due to a voting law that favors this type of activity. A person wanting to vote needs to inform him or herself of the current law and do their just prudence to know the facts of the issues before election day. Then go vote and do your duty as prescribed by law in a productive fashion and to not let emotions of the moment guide your decision, which in the end, you might not like. I call on the current legislature to amend our voting laws to disallow same-day registration and voting. At the same time, not disenfranchise any voter, but empower them to be accountable and register in a timely manner and vote responsibly.

Claude Sand