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Letter to the Editor: Voter ID would alienate seniors

All of us will be voting on a constitutional amendment this November to require voter IDs. It seems simple in concept, but it is much more difficult in practice.

As someone who works with the elderly, I am very concerned about how this amendment will alienate our seniors.

You may be surprised to know that over 40 percent of people living in nursing homes, assisted living, and senior housing do not have a state issued ID. Many let their driver's license go at some point and never got a state issued ID card. To obtain one, they need to travel to a license bureau. For Perham residents, that means traveling to Wadena or Detroit Lakes. Many are no longer able to do that, or the hardship of doing that for something they need only once every two years seems overwhelming and they decline.

Seniors are typically the most dedicated group of voters. They have given so much to all of us. Many fought for our country, protecting our right to hold these free elections. I truly feel it is shameful for us to make their ability to vote more difficult. If we were truly solving a problem, it may be worth it. But Minnesota has not had a voter fraud problem. We have had two major statewide recounts in recent years where ballots were scrutinized, and no significant voter fraud was found. Some are trying to find a fix for a problem that doesn't exist.

Please don't alienate our seniors who have given us so much and are the ones who taught us to be responsible citizens and vote. Vote 'no' on voter ID.

Chuck Hofius

Perham Health CEO

Perham, MN