Voter ID Bill Passes Senate 24 Mar 12

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.”

  • Patrick May

    I think this is a positive action to insure that all who vote have at least some identification that shows a residency and they have taken the responsibility of voting as a privilage. To those who say it is to difficult to get a Minnesota I.D. and will prevent some people from voting, then how do these people get to the voting stations?

  • John Hassinger

    If we can put the politics to the side lets think this though and discuss if this is good public policy. I’m sure we can all agree that we want honest elections where everyone who is eligible to vote can. I haven’t seen an data that supports significant problems with voter fraud. In Mcleod Co. There were 6 incidents of people voting that were incorrect, according to the County attorney. Of the 6, 5 of them were individuals released from prison who though their vote rights were restored after serving time– there was one case of a person trying to vote in two different counties. In Montana when a person has served their time in prison and is released their vote rights are restored. This needs to be looked at as a solution. It is simple and administratively clear. Our high voter turn out is important and I think we can concur that all means should be used to foster and make as simple as possible voting. How do we handle those people who refuse to by photographed for religious reasons?
    Being able to register on election day has been a plus . Pushing this though as a constitutional amendment , in my eyes , is a faulty way of legislating ,avoiding the responsibility of leadership.