Yesterday, the Taxpayers League of Minnesota announced it would start airing radio ads in support of photo ID.
Perhaps the radio ad should have that scratching record sound. The squeal would signify the Taxpayer's League going against everything they supposedly stand for.
The Taxpayers League of Minnesota's core mission is to reduce taxes. Yet, they are running ads in support an issue that will do the very thing they are against: raise taxes.
Talk about your weekly dose of political cynicism.
The Voter Restriction Amendment calls for a costly and extreme overhaul of Minnesota's elections system - an overhaul that will be added to the taxpayer's bill. The total cost to implement photo ID is expected to cost taxpayers $53 to $150 million dollars, according to the nonpartisan Citizens for Election Integrity and Professor David Schultz of Hamline University.
The Republican-controlled legislature has provided almost no details about how the Voter Restriction Amendment will be implemented, so it is difficult to estimate how much it will cost. But there's one thing Minnesotans can be sure of: it will cost a lot.
It is estimated to cost the state anywhere from $10 to $14 million dollars - $8.25 million over four years to produce "free" IDs and $1.7 to $5 million for voter education and outreach.
Local costs for provisional balloting, electronic rosters for polling places and converting mail-in precincts to in-person precincts are estimated to reach between $26.5 million and $63.6 million. Counties with mail ballot precincts have significantly higher per-capita costs. For example, it could cost Kittson County, with just 2,800 voters, more than $730,000 to eliminate mail balloting - or more than $250 per voter.
Individual costs for birth certificates and other documentation to obtain identification are expected to cost between $16 million and $72 million. A birth certificate costs $26 in Minnesota.
And a significant portion of the cost to implement the Voter Restriction Amendment will fall on local governments and will likely result in increased property taxes and/or cuts to important and vital services.
Bottom line: The implementation of the Voter Restriction Amendment is going to increase taxes and costs taxpayers a lot of money.
But hey, why would the Taxpayers League of Minnesota care about higher taxes?