To the Editor:
Our thanks to the Sentinel for attending our People First meeting and providing an excellent article on the voter ID bill. We would like to clarify one item:?It was stated that people in nursing homes would be able to vote as the resident rosters would be proof of ID. That occurs now and when the voter ID bill was passed, three amendments were offered that would exempt residents in nursing homes, veterans homes and group homes, due to the difficulty of these people in obtaining the necessary documents to prove their identity. Those three amendments were voted down, although I have not heard of any voter fraud taking place in these locations. All residents will be required to have a government issued ID. Many elderly voters may find these obstacles overwhelming or too costly with their limited incomes.
And speaking of cost, state Rep. Bob Gunther told our group the cost for voter ID would be $3 million; the U of M's estimate is $68.5 million; and former Gov. Arne Carlson put the cost at $100 million.
Another topic at our meeting was the wages received by support staff for those supporting the elderly and the disabled. An $8 per hour job is not a livable wage. Caring for pigs pays much better. If we have millions of dollars to spend, let's use it to care for people, pay for education, build better roads, all much better uses for taxpayer dollars.
Lee Ann Erickson
Arc Southwest, Martin County