On Friday, a bill to give Minnesotans the chance to weigh in on whether a photo ID should be required to vote was passed by the Minnesota State Senate.
The question of whether a photo ID should be required to vote will be put on the ballot in November 2012. If passed by a majority of voters, the Minnesota Constitution will be amended to require a voter to present a government-issued photographic identification in order to cast a ballot.
If approved by voters, the next Legislature will be tasked with specifying how to implement the photo identification requirement. The legislation passed through the Minnesota House of Representative on Tuesday, March 20 and will now move to a conference committee to rectify difference between the House and Senate versions of the bill.
Senator Scott Newman (R-Hutchinson), the chief-author of the legislation, made the following statement regarding the bill’s passage: “Minnesotans take their right to vote very seriously. I am thankful for the thoughtful deliberation that took place in the Senate today and for those who stood by me to protect the integrity of our election process. Every illegitimate vote disenfranchises a legitimate voter. According the Supreme Court’s decision in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board, voter fraud is a ‘historical fact.’ Given this premise, we must modernize our voting system to reflect today’s society and to promote a fair, transparent process for the future. We are committed to bringing our election system into the 21st century, preventing voter fraud and improving confidence in our system.”