Voter ID amendment will be on the November ballot

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Both the Minnesota Senate and the House of Representatives passed the voter ID bill Wednesday, which places the constitutional amendment question on the ballot in November, news sources report.

Both chambers passed their respective versions of the bill last month, but an amendment was made to clear up language differences between the two bills Monday, the Minnesota Daily reported.

Now its up to voters to answer the question on Nov. 6: "Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to require all voters to present valid photo identification to vote and to require the state to provide free identification to eligible voters, effective July 1, 2013?" KAAL TV reported.

The Senate debated for more than three hours on Wednesday, eventually passing the bill 35-29. Only one Republican, Jeremy Miller of Winona, joined the unanimous DFLers in voting against the measure.

"Republicans in the legislature had two years to negotiate bipartisan reforms to election law, and it is disappointing that their failure to do so has led to an unnecessary constitutional amendment that would make it harder for law abiding citizens, including tens of thousands of seniors, service members, and students, to exercise their right to vote," said Gov. Mark Dayton in a statement Wednesday.

"I cannot support a constitutional amendment that is pushed through the legislative process by only one political party - and neither should Minnesotans if they see it on the ballot this fall," he said.

Supporters of the bill argue it would solve a voter fraud problem. "If a legal voter is next to an illegal voter, this makes the legal voter the disenfranchised," Republican Senator Dave Thompson of Lakeville told KAAL TV.

But others argue there is no proof such a problem even exists, and that the amendment will make it more difficult for some people to exercise their constitutional right to vote. During the Senate debate, DFL-ers argued it would be students, soldiers overseas, the elderly, homeless and the disabled who would be come disenfranchised, according to the Minnesota Daily

Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville, told the Minnesota Daily that students who move from their dorm mid-semester or list their permanent address as their parent's will have a difficult time voting.

"I think the bottom line is that we all know that this bill will disenfranchise people," he said.

In addition to the voter ID question, a question of whether to ban same-sex marriages will also appear on the Nov. 6 ballot. They will be 10th and 11th constitutional amendments on the ballot in Minnesota since 1990, according to the Minnesota Daily.

Only one of these proposed amendments was voted down, according to the Secretary of State -- a 1994 amendment to allow off-track betting on horse races, the Minnesota Daily reported.

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This page contains a single entry by boha0054 published on April 5, 2012 5:25 PM.

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