For all the sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these, “It might have been.”
John Greenleaf Whittier
Dan McGrath penned a maudlin apologia at True North for the five years he wasted on photo voter ID, and the reasons for it failure; Outstate Politics already picked up McGrath’s point that he suspects voter fraud! But it’s such a work of self-pitying tripe that we mustn’t leave it at that.
According to McGrath, the whole world was arrayed against him: a “massive coalition of left-wing organizations, unions, DC-Based [sic] national non-profits and even government agencies.” Yes, darn that Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, caught red handed in acts of telling the truth about the amendment according to the Office of Administrative Hearings.
Why, even the faith-based organizations were out to get him!
McGrath does reveal a little of the strategy of Protect My Vote in trying to plant this canker on our election system:
Upon forming ProtectMyVote.com, one of the first things we did was engage polling and focus groups to test messaging both for and against the amendment. We immediately realized that we were vulnerable to the opposition messaging.
Free voter ID?
Provisional ballots, no same-day registration, limited or non-existent absentee voting, no vouching, disenfranchisement of seniors, students, poor people, a potential fifty million-dollar cost to the state and local government units (over and above the cost to individuals for pulling their identifying documents together, if they could), and lawsuits galore?
That polled rather badly!
Which is why the ballot question was short when the actual amendment was long. The “opposition messaging” that McGrath was afraid of was the truth: a comprehensive understanding of the true scope of the implications of the amendment.
And darn it; the massive coalition of left-wing organizations let the cat out of the bag. Not that Minnesota Majority didn’t try to stop them:
Before the campaign even got started, it was an expensive battle just to keep the amendment on the ballot. Minnesota Majority funded and won two separate cases before the Minnesota Supreme Court to both keep the duly passed Voter ID amendment on the ballot and prevent the secretary of state from changing the title to a confusing jumble of words [emphasis added]. Before the campaign even got started, we spent over $100,000 in legal fees.
McGrath & Co. were terrified that the ballot question would actually reflect what was in the amendment. Heaven forfend! But it was the amendment itself that was the “confusing jumble of words,” so better to keep the voters in the dark.
The result on Election Day was, of course, a shattering blow for McGrath:
As the chairman of ProtectMyVote.com, I can tell you that none felt the loss on Voter ID more keenly than myself on November 6th. After working on Minnesota’s election integrity issues nearly to the exclusion of all else for the last 5 years, seeing the culmination of that effort burn up on Election Day was a devastating blow which led me to question whether I was competent to carry on the fight.
You will all be glad to know that he looked in the mirror and decided that he had the right stuff to continue after all:
To everyone who gave of their time, labor and money to support our campaign, you have my heartfelt gratitude. Don’t lose heart. Losing the voter ID amendment fight stung, but we’re not dead yet. There’s work yet to be done.
Well, it is a pretty good gig for Dan.
So keep those contributions coming.
N.B. The photo is from a Strib article featuring McGrath that you can read at the link in the caption.
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