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Norm Coleman: Voting rights are a ‘privilege’

Former Sen. Norm Coleman stopped to talk with Pajamas Media at last weekend’s True the Vote conference hosted by the King Street Patriots in Houston. The conference trains conservative activists in how to monitor polls and push for tighter voter ID laws. In the interview, Coleman downplayed assertions that voter fraud cost him the election against Sen. Al Franken in 2008 but called voting “one of the greatest privileges that democracy affords,” comparing voter ID to showing an identification card when writing a check at McDonald’s.

“Some places require an ID to cash a check at McDonald’s; if it’s good enough for McDonald’s it should be good enough for one of the greatest privileges that democracy affords, and that’s the right to vote,” said Coleman.

Republicans at the Minnesota Legislature have also made similar claims that voting is like buying alcohol, cigarettes or plane tickets.

The interviewer pressed Coleman about his race with Franken and alleged voter fraud, but Coleman balked a bit. “I’m not complaining about my race,” he said, later added, “ACORN didn’t support a lot of Republicans and we’ve seen a lot of about fraud.”

He added, “My race was decided by 301 votes; ACORN registered 43,000 people in Minnesota.”

The Texas Independent, which covered the weekend’s conference, quotes Coleman as saying he still believes “there remain serious questions about how the recount was conducted.”

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