MN Photo ID Ammendment Passes House

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012 at 6:15 am

A proposal for a Minnesota constitutional amendment to make voters show a photo ID at the polls is now halfway to a spot on the November ballot.

The Minnesota House passed the proposal 72-62 late Tuesday night after debating the move for nearly nine hours. A similar bill was passed through both the House and the Senate last year, but was vetoed by Gov. Mark Dayton. Republicans are now pushing for a constitutional ammendment because it doesn’t require the Governor’s signature. Critics called the measure “ridiculous,” “absurd” and “a 21st-century Jim Crow law.”

Lead House sponsor Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, said the proposal is “common sense,” and said she believes this will increase voter confidence in the voting system and, therefore, increase voter turnout.

“Every single vote in that ballot box deserves to be counted accurately and honestly,” Kiffmeyer said according to the Associated Press. “The same level of integrity should be there (when it comes to) who gets the ballot.” At one time, Kiffmeyer served as Minnesota secretary of state

The amendment, if passed by a simple majority in both houses, would then let voters decide this fall whether a photo ID will be required at the voting booth. The Senate may take action on its companion bill this week.

Much of the debate centered on what type of photo ID would be accepted at the polls. Wording in the proposal calls for a voter to show a “government-issued” photo ID. Some Democrats worried that private college and tribal members would not have sufficient ID to vote.

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