Minnesota Majority's Dan McGrath | LeftMN photo
by Steve Timmer
Oct 6, 2012, 8:30 PM

Dan McGrath sees dead people

But, of course, they aren’t really there

On Thursday night, there was a Debate Minnesota, um, debate between Dan McGrath of Minnesota Majority (in favor) and Doran Schrantz of ISAIAH (and the Our Vote, Our Future campaign) (against) the so-called “voter ID” amendment. You can go to The Uptake and watch a video of the debate; we’ve embedded it here at LeftMN, too.

It was a remarkable performance by Dan McGrath. Self-assured — even arrogant — in seeming command of the facts; the problem is that most of what he said is complete — I’m being charitable here — baloney.

The statement that really jumps out, the cherry on the bullshit split, is that “thousands of dead people are registered voters in Minnesota.” This not mere hyperbole; it is a knowing canard.

When a person dies in Minnesota, a doctor, a hospital, a nursing home, or a funeral home will file a certificate of death of that person with the Minnesota Department of Health, usually within a period of hours. If you are a registered voter in Minnesota, but you die outside of Minnesota, the database of the Social Security Administration will almost certainly record the death, too.

You see, the Secretary of State’s office checks these databases regularly to cull the dead people from the voter registration rolls. The poll book that you sign when you vote (and on which you make your oath of identity, residence, and eligibility), is based on the most recent information available from the MDH and the SSA. This SSA database check was instituted when Mark Ritchie took office, incidentally, not during the reign of Mary Kiffmeyer.

Moreover, if you don’t vote for four years, you are automatically removed from the registration rolls.

Unless you’re keeping Grandpa’s corpse in the attic to continue to collect his Social Security — a problem outside the scope of the discussion here — the chances are excellent that the Secretary of State is going to find out about the death almost immediately after it happens. And purge the decedent from the voter registration rolls.

In fact, Minnesota Majority and Dan McGrath submitted their best “five dead people voting” cases to the Secretary of State’s office, and not a single one of them checked out. Each was a case of a voter signing on the wrong line in the poll book, or some other administrative error.

I confirmed these things with the Secretary of State’s office on Friday; dead people voting in Minnesota is simply not a problem.

If a person did impersonate a dead person (Grandpa died last week, and you knew he was a die-hard Republican, and you wanted to cast one last vote by him in his memory), and voted for the decendent, it would be flagged by the Secretary of State after the election, and the information would be forwarded to county law enforcement officials for investigation.

The idea that there must be some grand conspiracy by county attorneys all over the state to cover up dead people voting simply beggars the imagination.

But Dan McGrath lies about these things with the grace of a baboon swinging through the trees.

It ought to make you think about the truthiness of some of the other things that McGrath said in the debate (including that Mary Kiffmeyer is an election law expert), some of which we’ll discuss in coming days.

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