Minnesota election law does not require photo identification at the polls--but a group called Election Integrity Watch wishes the law were different.
The group has organized volunteers to serve as vigilante voting watchdogs on Nov. 2: They'll follow people around with notebooks and video cameras. So far, 9,610 people have signed up to spy on your vote.
The group--comprised of Minnesota Majority, Minnesota Voters Alliance, Freedom Council and the Northstar Tea Party Patriots--wants you to believe that Minnesota elections are rife with voter fraud, and that comedian Al Franken only won election to the Senate over incumbent Norm Coleman with an "alleged margin of victory" because of felons voting illegally.
They have no evidence of this, as "This Is Not Florida" author Jay Weiner points out today in The Hill.
There was no "alleged margin of victory." The Minnesota Canvassing Board, a three-judge trial panel, and the Minnesota Supreme Court declared Franken the winner, eventually by 312 votes. The margin of victory was confirmed, not alleged.
Of the 12 judges on those three panels, six were appointed by Republicans, two by Democrats, three by independent Gov. Jesse Ventura, and one ran for an open seat.
Elections officials see through a lot of this voter fraud propaganda, and recognized the "Please ID Me" buttons and Tea Party slogan T-shirts for what they are: campaign material, which is not allowed at polls. So the group sued; here is their court complaint.
These assorted aggrieved conservatives claim they are just trying to make sure the law is observed, but congressman Keith Ellison and his fellow DFL-ers see a darker motive: voter intimidation, an effort to get senior citizens and minorities to stay away from the polls. Similar campaigns are taking place in Milwaukee and Houston.
"Folks will comply with the instructions of election judges," says Walter Hudson, of the North Star Tea Party Patriots. "The ruling being as it is apparently going to come down, we will continue with the aspects of the Election Integrity Watch program that are not affected by it, including the poll watching."