Severson from an MPR photograph
by Steve Timmer
Oct 29, 2014, 2:00 PM

Dan Severson’s Brave New World of Voting II

Mention has already been made here of Republican candidate for Secretary of State Dan Severson’s odious plan for Express Lane™ voting. The idea is that if you present a photo ID, you get faster “service” at the polls. At a recent debate, DFL candidate, Steve Simon, one of true voting and elections junkies in the Minnesota House, called him on it, saying it sounded like a “separate but equal” plan.

This rankled Severson, because people always hate it when they get called out with the truth. Here’s a video clip of the exchange between Simon and Severson from The Uptake. For those of you who can read faster than you can see and hear, a transcript is also provided. But watch the video; it’s worth it.


Simon: I really don’t support this idea of sort of a Lexus lane for voting or the so called express lane voting. First of all it seems to be intended to be a separate but equal system.  All I have to go on is Dan’s own words when he characterized it on a tea party TV show in the spring. He said ‘if you don’t want to show an ID, be my guest. You can go over to the side and wait in line two hours in the cold. That’s fine.’ end quote.  I don’t think that kind of sentiment has any place in the secretary of state’s office.  And it doesn’t even make sense, in the sense that 90 percent of people have IDs.  So wouldn’t that be the long line? And wouldn’t the people without IDs be the short line?  I don’t think it’s very well thought out.


Moderator: You would like to speak to that Mr. Severson?

 Severson: Well, just about the separate but equal statement that Representative Simon had mentioned in this. And I don’t think that’s appropriate in this process because really what we’re talking about is new ideas and how do we accentuate these new ideas, how do we probe into how we can make the system better. When we begin the race baiting of separate but equal the whole type of deal I think we degrade the conversation and we need to keep it above board. We need… Minnesotans are tired of confrontational politics and I think it’s time to let’s just talk about the issues without being incendiary.


Simon: Well since it’s early enough in the debate, I want to talk about the idea of incendiary politics.  I agree it has no place in this office.  I’m not the one, Dan Severson was on election night 2012, who said Minnesota’s vote for Obama was immoral. I’m not the one, he was, who said last year that our schools in Minnesota, our public schools are teaching socialism to our kids.  I’m not the one who two weeks ago at a press conference said that our commander-in-chief was intentionally, intentionally, that was the question, interfering with the military vote. That’s incendiary. And that has indeed no place in this race or this office.

Severson calls Express Lane™ voting a “new idea.”

No, Dan, is an old idea; it’s called “Jim Crow.”

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