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Word is starting to get around in Minnesota, both from outside and inside the state, of the horrific costs and problems faced by local governments whose states enact the various ALEC-inspired “Voter ID” photo ID legislative disasters.  

And Minnesota Republicans, who are trying to sneak the Minnesota version of Voter ID to the voters as a ballot measure, are freaked out about it.

More after the jump.

It apparently doesn’t faze Minnesota Republicans one bit when it’s pointed out that the ALEC-inspired "Voter ID" amendment legislation — legislation which by the way won’t stop the sort of voter fraud Republicans say it was meant to stop — will make it harder for many nonwhite Minnesotans to vote.  For the leaders of the Grand Old Party, which has used the Southern Strategy as its operational platform for so long its members have forgot they were once the Party of Lincoln, Jim Crow racism isn’t a bug but a feature — they figure that the more their fan base hears this, the better.  

But when the fact that it stands to ruin the budgets of dozens of Minnesota counties gets publicly aired by a growing number of local media outlets, that’s when the Republicans get worried.

How worried are they?  They turned to some of the more respectable attack dogs in their kennels, the folks running the Center of the American Experiment, to try and soothe county governments’ fears on the costs of the proposed amendment.   Unfortunately for them, the CAE’s math is on a par with Paul Ryan’s in terms of worthlessness, as Max Hailperin points out in a guest post at the greater Minnesota blog Bluestem Prairie:

This report downplays the financial costs of the proposed amendment, but its most provocative claim is that “substantial cost savings accrue when photo ID is coupled with electronic poll book technology.”  Specifically, in return for an estimated initial investment of $5 million, a cost savings of approximately $1 million per general election could be realized.  

Both of these estimates have substantial problems, but even if we accept the numbers, the idea that the proposed amendment could be a net win from a financial standpoint falters on two fundamental problems.  First, the projected savings would be possible even without a photo ID requirement.  Second, the initial investment is in fact a recurring cost that would be necessary each time the laptop computers reached the end of their useful lives.

Go read the whole thing — Professor Hailperin just demolishes the CAE’s arguments with relentless effectiveness.

(A version of this was originally posted at MyFDL.)

Mon Sep 17, 2012 at  8:46 AM PT: Thanks to glynis in the comments, I was reminded that I should note the Appendix of the CEI Minnesota study (the good study, not the Center of the American Experiment garbage) breaks down the costs by county:

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