The League of Women Voters MN is hosting a special screening of their latest Anti-Voter ID commercial they are calling a documentary on Thursday in White Bear Lake, MN. The 17 minute “film” is entitled “Democracy for All? Barriers of Voter ID” and features voters, activists and even a St. Paul City Council Member decrying the supposed unfairness of requiring proof of legal eligibility to vote.
The bill proposing election reform in Minnesota made its way through Congressional committees last spring and summer and apparently has the League of Women Voters outraged. The proposal would require citizens to provide valid and current photo ID upon registering to vote and/or requesting a ballot on election day.
At the House Transportation Committee hearing in April 2011, the League of Women Voters, Common Cause MN and City Council Member Melvin Carter III testified in opposition to the bill. Some of the recorded testimony is part of the “Democracy for All?” video.
Councilman Carter’s testimony was particularly emotional. In his statement, Carter recounts his experience attempting to vote while attending college.
“If I could trace my own personal mission back to one moment, it’s being wrongfully turned away from a Tallahassee, Florida Polling Location as a student at Florida A&M University during Election 2000,” says Carter.
That statement obviously sounds as though the election officials at the precinct were incorrect to refuse a ballot to Carter.
Following the hearing in an impromptu “interview” conducted on the way to the elevator, I asked the Councilman to elaborate on his story. He recanted part of his previously sworn testimony and said that it was actually his brother in law that was turned away. Carter explained that because his brother in law was not on the rolls, he was denied a ballot.
“Did he have a registration card? Florida provides a small piece of paper, sent in the mail to verify address, that a voter can bring on election day on the off chance that the rolls are incorrect. Did your brother in law have that card?” I asked.
Carter responded by explaining that there were all kinds of purged names from the rolls in 2000 but failed to answer the question of whether or not his brother in law had in fact registered in accordance with Florida election law.
Carter has in essence built his political career around the story of his brother’s election day 2000 experience and has even won awards based on its merit. He has testified under oath at a Congressional hearing claiming it was he who was turned away, yet his website and other publications suggest it was his brother who was turned away. When asked directly last spring, he said it was his brother-in-law. Which is it? Calls to Councilman Carter’s office were not immediately returned.
Is the League of Women Voters MN aware of the inconsistencies in Carter’s story? With the obvious flaws in Carter’s testimony, may we assume that they haven’t fact checked any of the other statements in the video?
A call to LWV Executive Director Laura Fredrick Wang has not yet been returned.
For more information on the League of Women Voters, their impact on elections and their connections to progressive front groups like Common Cause, click here: Smoking guns, Photo ID, voter fraud and corrupt organizations
Concilman Carter returned a phone call to correct the details in his story about voting in Florida in 2000. According to Carter, he was encouraged to vote along with his brother-in-law, Roi Ward, and his family at a precinct close to Florida A&M University.
“It was my brother-in-law actually. He and my sister said, “hey come with us to go vote,” so I just went with them,” says Carter. “We arrived and waited in line, I don’t know, like 30 minutes or whatever, and then they said because Roi’s name wasn’t on the list he couldn’t vote.”
Carter continued, “I’m not sure if he’d registered at this precinct before, but I think he voted there before. You know, he had a voter card, a registration card but they said, “You’re not on the list,” so we just left.”
Neither Carter nor his brother-in-law filed any formal complaints and no charges were filed against the precinct in Tallahassee.
When asked about the current system and the documented voter fraud cases in Minnesota and around the country, Carter said, “What is that, like a 100th of a percent? I mean, I don’t have first hand knowledge of the cases you are referring to, but there’s never going to be a perfect system… Human error is going to occur.”
“Minnesota has a great track record of voter turnout,” says Carter when asked how there could be more ballots than registered voters in some precincts in Minnesota. “I don’t have first hand information about that. I haven’t seen any evidence of people trying to cast inaccurate or illegal votes.”
The Councilman was gracious enough to return a phone call and certainly explained his story in further detail, however the truth of his story is still muddled. His testimony at the House hearing was clearly not accurate and a quick Google search turns up different versions of his story, including one told by Wellstone Action which claims Carter waited over 3 hours at the polling place before being turned away.
The problem of course isn’t the number of hours waited or in-law vs. brother vs. self, but rather the fact that the League of Women Voters MN is promoting a film as evidence that voter ID isn’t necessary and didn’t validate the claims made in the film. The “documentary” cannot be trusted if the simplest of details to verify wasn’t done.