Make it easier, not harder to vote

To the Editor:

I believe that God calls us to create communities where all citizens are valued and included. I also believe that being able to exercise one’s right to vote is critical to creating such communities. As such, I oppose the Voter ID Amendment and encourage others to vote “No.”

This amendment will create barriers to the act of voting for people who lack transportation, aren’t mobile, lack a copy of their birth certificate and more. Most likely to be adversely affected are elderly, people of color, and low income citizens. Also, anyone living in temporary housing and anyone who is homeless.

Minnesota’s election system is a recognized model of integrity. Voter ID is an expensive solution in search of a problem. Documentation to obtain an ID will cost an estimated $35 per person. Taxpayers would have to pay that cost and the expense incurred educating the public and training election officials. Similar measures in North Carolina and Missouri are estimated to cost between $18 and $25 million.

To realize God’s community here on earth, a community where all are included and valued, I believe we should be making it easier for people to vote, not harder. — Rev. Damen Heitmann, First United Church, Little Falls