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Following Gov. Mark Dayton's veto of the long-sought legislation to require photo identification at the polls, Republican legislators are pushing ahead with a plan to put the question to voters in 2012.

GOP legislators pursue photo ID constitutional amendment

Sen. Scott Newman

Following Gov. Mark Dayton‘s veto of the long-sought legislation to require photo identification at the polls, Republican legislators are pushing ahead with a plan to put the question to voters in 2012.

GOP Sen. Scott Newman has introduced a bill that proposes to bypass the governor and amend the state’s constitution to include a photo identification requirement for voting. GOP Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer has already introduced the legislation in the House. In a news release Thursday, Newman said he plans to move the bill in the regular 2012 session. If it passes both chambers, it will be on the ballot in 2012.

Dayton vetoed the legislation last week, citing concerns with complying with federal election laws that allow for overseas military to vote, putting an “unfunded mandate” on local governments and lack of bipartisan support.

“I am disappointed that Gov. Dayton chose to be an obstacle to reforms that would bring our election process into the 21st century.  Through his recent veto of our voter ID legislation, Gov. Dayton rejected improved quality, speed and efficiency in Minnesota’s voting process despite public demand for such reforms,” Newman said in a release. “Fortunately, through this constitutional amendment, the public will have an opportunity to secure the integrity of their vote that Gov. Dayton has denied them.”


  1. As now oft repeated, a solution looking for a problem.

    Newman and Kiffmeyer, the oh so civics minded guardians of the vote.

    Jeff Wilfahrt, Rosemount, MN

  2. There is definitely a need for photo ID. Living in Becker county we have had an election in the past with 110% voter turnout. The majority of people around here have no confidence in the integrity of Minnesota elections.

  3. Will the ballot question include the taxpayer funded cost impact of photo ID requirement? Millions more that taxpayers would have to pay for a non-problem?

    Why do we even have state reps if everything little thing goes as a ballot question to the voters?

  4. Photo ID. Long over due!!!! Every citizen has one, or should. Poor, No Excuse. Can’t get those freebies without proof!

  5. I am an election judge. In the last election in Otter Tail County we had 165 first time voters. Most were Hispanics and Muslims. I could not believe it. The Hispanics had Hispanic advocates and the Muslims had Muslim advocates. The advocates actually walked these people to the polling booth and helped them vote explaining to the voter in their language. To be able to vote you must be able to speak English and read English. These voters came in with a electric bill and some other form of identification. My wife taught Citizenship in the evenings for years and informed these prospective citizens that once they pass the Citizenship test they should bring their papers to the election judges to prove they are citizens. I did not see anyone bringing their papers. What happened was a continuation of the fraud of having non-citizens voting where advocates help non-speaking English people come into the election process of our country and taking advantage of honest tax payers. I intend to make sure this does not happen again in our county. We need photo id’s and verification of legal citizenship. This will not cost us money to pursue photo id’s. It will save the American tax payer from supporting non-citizens in this country. Most non-citizens are very hard working people but we have a process they must go through before having the right to vote.

  6. It seems that most who oppose requiring voter identification are those seeking a large pool of voters who would, otherwise, not be able to vote because they are not citizens of the United States. Whatever those naysayers may claim, their motives are, ultimately, not honorable. There is no legitimate reason for not requiring identification of those voting — those appearing at the polls claiming to be a citizen of the United States with the right to vote. Simply put, implementing this requirement would strengthen the integrity of and trust in the voting process. That should be the goal of every American.

  7. prairiepopulist

    Wow, because I want everyone eligible to vote able to vote I am called dishonorable. With the proposed change in law, neither my mother nor my daughter could vote right now. My daughter is 18 but doesn’t drive. She does have a passport, but that isn’t allowable according to the legislation. She could serve in the military but not vote. Then again, she could go through the work of getting an ID; we could afford it and she would do so. (And, knowing people personally who wouldn’t be able to comply, she would and will vote against this crazy constituional amendment.) My mom, on the other hand, who has never missed an election of any kind in my 52 years of life, at the age of 90, probably would not go through what it takes to vote at her age. She would consider it an affront that she not be able to vote as she has for 70-plus years during her last few. But, she won’t be voting lots more elections, so probably isn’t of much concern to the party that is pushing this legislation. Then again, my 18-year-old will be voting, and she has love for her grandma and a very good memory.

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