Go to HHH home page.
Smart Politics
 


House GOP Voter ID Legislation Has Strong Support Statewide

Bookmark and Share

Even though the Voter Integrity Act of 2009 (HF 57) introduced earlier this week by Minnesota Representative Tom Emmer (R-Delano) has been characterized by some in the media as a "politically divisive idea" ("Requiring Voter IDs Is Back on the Agenda," Pioneer Press, 1/26/09), public opinion conducted on the issue of requiring voter IDs reveals overwhelming support for the measure in the Gopher State.

On October 22, 2008 the Rasmussen polling firm asked 500 likely voters in Minnesota whether or not voters should be required "to show photo identification such as a drivers license before being allowed to vote." Nearly three-quarters of Minnesotans (73 percent) were in favor of such a proposal, with a scant 20 percent in opposition. In a Rasmussen poll of 500 likely voters taken in August 2006, the split was 83 percent in favor and 13 percent opposed.

With supporters outnumbering opponents in the electorate by more than a 3:1 ratio, the issue of photo IDs may be politically divisive at the Capitol among party elites, but not on the farms outside Kenyon or in the streets of Stillwater. Emmer claims the legislation is not a partisan issue, and the Rasmussen poll lends credence to this view.

Legislation of this kind is extraordinarily popular among residents throughout the Upper Midwest. An October 23, 2008 Rasmussen poll of 500 likely voters found support at 80 percent and opposition at 13 percent in Iowa, and at 73 percent and 23 percent respectively in Wisconsin.

Similar legislation has passed in seven other states, with Indiana's voter ID law recently being upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in a 6-3 decision.

Interestingly, Minnesotans feel strongly about the need for voter IDs despite being quite confident in the voting system overall. In October 2008, the Rasmussen poll also found 66 percent of Minnesotans to be "very confident" that "ballots are properly counted in most elections and the right person is declared the winner." Only 8 percent were "not very" or "not at all" confident, and 26 percent were "somewhat confident."

Some House DFLers maintain election fraud is not a problem in the state and requiring voter IDs is an unfair barrier that will suppress urban area and minority voting.

Whether or not there are political motives behind Emmer's legislation, it can certainly be maintained that his bill echos the views of a supermajority of Gopher State residents.

Previous post: Pawlenty Invokes Obama and Displays Fancy Footwork On Tax Policy in Budget Presentation
Next post: How Long Will It Take to Regain the 65,000+ Jobs Lost in Minnesota in 2008?

3 Comments


  • The problem with "Voter ID" legislation, is it usually gets shot down in Court.

    If and when legislation is drafted that can survive a Constitutional challenge, I'm all for it.

    Unfortunately, past performance suggests Rep. Emmer's is just more of the same.

  • This bill is based on the Indiana law that has already been heard and upheld in the US Supreme Court. It won't be shot down in court.

  • I live near Stillwater and I disagree with the poll. So the poll's question is maybe too simple. If you asked "should Minnesota implement a photo ID for voting even though there has never been a case of fraud?" I know you would get a different result. I know this push polling is not fair normally, but the question as posed is almost implying there is a "issue" and you would not ask this question unless fraud was being committed.

  • Leave a comment


    Remains of the Data

    No Free Passes: States With 2 Major Party Candidates in Every US House Race

    Indiana has now placed candidates from both major parties on the ballot in a nation-best 189 consecutive U.S. House races, with New Hampshire, Minnesota, Idaho, and Montana also north of 100 in a row.

    Political Crumbs

    Gubernatorial Highs and Lows

    Two sitting governors currently hold the record for the highest gubernatorial vote ever received in their respective states by a non-incumbent: Republican Matt Mead of Wyoming (65.7 percent in 2010) and outgoing GOPer Dave Heineman of Nebraska (73.4 percent in 2006). Republican Gary Herbert of Utah had not previously won a gubernatorial contest when he notched a state record 64.1 percent for his first victory in 2010, but was an incumbent at the time after ascending to the position in 2009 after the early departure of Jon Huntsman. Meanwhile, two sitting governors hold the record in their states for the lowest mark ever recorded by a winning gubernatorial candidate (incumbent or otherwise): independent-turned-Democrat Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island (36.1 percent in 2010) and Democrat Terry McAuliffe of Virginia (47.8 percent in 2013).


    An Idaho Six Pack

    Two-term Idaho Republican Governor Butch Otter only polled at 39 percent in a recent PPP survey of the state's 2014 race - just four points ahead of Democratic businessman A.J. Balukoff. Otter's low numbers reflect his own struggles as a candidate (witness his weak primary win against State Senator Russ Fulcher) combined with the opportunity for disgruntled Idahoans to cast their votes for one of four third party and independent candidates, who collectively received the support of 12 percent of likely voters: Libertarian John Bujak, the Constitution Party's Steve Pankey, and independents Jill Humble and Pro-Life (aka Marvin Richardson). The six candidate options in a gubernatorial race sets an all-time record in the Gem State across the 46 elections conducted since statehood. The previous high water mark of five candidates was reached in seven previous cycles: 1902, 1904, 1908, 1912, 1914, 1966, and 2010.


    more POLITICAL CRUMBS

    Humphrey School Sites
    CSPG
    Humphrey New Media Hub

    Issues />

<div id=
    Abortion
    Afghanistan
    Budget and taxes
    Campaign finances
    Crime and punishment
    Economy and jobs
    Education
    Energy
    Environment
    Foreign affairs
    Gender
    Health
    Housing
    Ideology
    Immigration
    Iraq
    Media
    Military
    Partisanship
    Race and ethnicity
    Reapportionment
    Redistricting
    Religion
    Sexuality
    Sports
    Terrorism
    Third parties
    Transportation
    Voting