Voter ID Controversy Brewing At The Capitol

ST. PAUL (WCCO) — It’s supposed to be an effort to make sure voters really are who they say they are, on election day. But now, an amendment to require ID at the polls is drawing more opposition.

Religious leaders of various denominations gathered at the State Capitol Tuesday to deliver a letter, which opposes the proposed constitutional amendment that would require all voters to show a valid photo ID in order to vote on Election Day.

Republican lawmakers say this voter ID law is necessary to prevent voter fraud.

Religious leaders made an passionate plea, saying this amendment would limit people’s constitutional rights, rather than protect them. They said voter fraud is simply a non-issue.

“Put the evidence forward that shows this is an issue, a problem,” Elder Alfred Babington-Johnson, CEO of the Stairstep Foundation, said. “I think it’s non-existent. There is no voter fraud of any magnitude occurring in the state of Minnesota.”

The secretary of state estimates this would prevent 700,000 to 800,000 eligible voters from being able to cast their vote, including people like seniors, veterans and students.

“I believe in a Minnesota in which all people have a voice,” said Rev. Paul Erickson. “This constitutional amendment to require a photo ID would take away the voice of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of Minnesotans. And that’s wrong.”

Eight other states do have laws like this in place, including Wisconsin, which just went into effect.

More from Natalie Nyhus
  • See BS

    Joshua Reed, an ACORN worker plead guilty for having over 300 bogus Voter Registration cards in the trunk of his car at the Minneapolis/Saint Paul Airport.

    113 Felons voted in Election 2008

    And based on the slanted rulings of our local court system, it’s easy to think they might be aiding and abetting election fraud.

    • Tom

      @ See BS

      So you consider 300 bogus voter registration cards and 113 felons voted in the election in 2008 wide spread voter fraud? That is a major stretch! And that is out of many people who have casts votes?

      • Accidental Resident

        Those 300 phony registrations were from just one ACORN crook. How many other ACORN crooks got away with how many more registrations?

        And wha wha wha Liberal Preacher Men…er Persons. How the heck do the so called disenfranchised cash their checks? Collect welfare? Get their kids in school? Buy beer and smokes? If I had a stake in the Socialist gravy train that liberal religious people and social service workers share, I’d wha wha too.

      • Vince

        Do you know how many votes Dayton won by? Or Frankin? If this stops one fraud it is worth it. When a party uses fraud to win an election in this country we should all be ashamed.

        • G Dog

          You mean like the Bushies in 2000??

          • vince

            the supreme court ruled on that, take up your losing cause with them.

            • Tom

              @ vince

              That is true! Both Coleman and Emmer claimed voter fraud and each time the State Supreme Court voted 7-0 that they found no evidence of voter fraud. It is amazing that they are claiming voter frau even though they won the house and senate. They are upset they didn’t get the Gov’s office as well.

      • Eyes Wide Shut!

        No, but it’s FRAUD.that would have been prevented if this type of legislation were enacted. I am sick of MY rights being invalidated be wrong-doers. There are so many ways someone can legally vote these days. If it is that important to someone, they find a legal way to do it.

      • See BS

        If you look at how many ACORN workers have been convicted of voter registration fraud — it is widespread.

    • David

      An ID card will not prevent fraudulent registrations. An ID card will not prevent felons from voting.

      There are ZERO known cases of someone impersonating someone else when voting. None.

      All this voter suppression amendment will do is make it harder to vote for the elderly, students, veterans recently home from abroad and others who either don’t need an ID or whose address changes frequently.

      This amendment is immoral.

      • Mickey Mouse

        I beg to differ. Someone voted for me last election.

      • Silas de Goute

        If you have to show ID when you go to register it sure as hell would

      • BT-DT, GtTS

        Quote: All this voter suppression amendment will do is make it harder to vote for the elderly, students, veterans recently home from abroad and others who either don’t need an ID or whose address changes frequently.

        Bogus: Changing residency isn’t as simple as merely showing up and voting. It requires a demonstrated intentiion. Paying taxes (income and property) registering a car, obtaining a drivers license. Nursing home residents retain their residency at the home they own for years after making the choice to live in a nursing home for health reasons. Students maintain residency at their parents place for much of their college education (I’ve done it!). Military members also maintain residency at their home of record. I voted in North Dakota from Nebraska, Washington DC, Texas, and Hawaii as well as 5 countries overseas while I was in the Air Force. After I retired, I still considered myself a ND resident for 6 more months before conciously and proactively switching resicendy to MN.

  • Helen

    There is NO reason why this should not be law. Why the dems are opposed to this makes you wonder.

    • Tom

      @ Helen

      We have had the same voting system for many years and only recently have conservatives feel there is a major problem.! I think people like you dont like the fact the rest of MN don’t vote for the same nut jobs like you do!

      • Jake

        @Tom. I would think you can conceive of how the rules for voting have actually gotten much looser as the population has grown. It is so loose that it is now past the margin of error within which major races have been decided.

      • Helen

        I am not a republican and never have been. I am like most in minnesota, an Independant.

        • Kevin

          Its ok Helen…Tom is not a man either.

      • mike

        @ Tom, I went for an eye exam last week and had to show my picture ID. What the hell is wrong with having to show it for something as important as voting

        • Tom

          @ Helen, Kevin, Mike

          Again you are trying claim wide spread voter fraud and or trying to prevent it. But you seem to have people crying voter fraud in the last two elections we have had but you never heard these people claim voter fraud in elections before that. So how do you go from not having any problems in previous elections to now having major problems with same system.

          And again the State Supreme Court does not agree with you on the voter fraud!

          • Spamzap

            Maybe if you look at the numbers of illegal immigrants, you’ll have you answer.

    • Ruth

      That’s right! I’m happy to show my ID whenever it’s requested, and voting should be no different.

      • David Greene

        There is no right to all of the activities you currently need an ID to do.

        Voting is different. It is a right. It’s is not conditional.

  • Bill Janklow

    Its funny! It is the law that you must carry ID on you at all time while in public. Yet….not to vote? So are these people all breaking the law by not carring ID?

    • Balanced Beam

      I don’t believe that is the law.

      • Dan

        Actually BB – it is the law or was thru the 90s at least. Never enforced but it is the law.
        Another odd one – way back in the early 60s when I was a kid we were headed to the beach in Minnetonka. My mom got stopped and tagged for not wearing SHOES while driving. A fine for that! We were pretty poor and new to TC’s and this almost made her move us back to Morton, MN. lol
        in hindsight maybe we should have at that. ;-)

      • Bill Clintons Cigar

        Thats because your a moron. Look it up, its the law.

  • Alice In Wonderlad

    The law will mean that all the EBT trash will have to get off the couch and go get a voter ID card. Wow! If you cant do that, or if you don’t speak English, then you should not have the right to vote! I am so sick of these immigrants and EBT trash forcing the rest of us to live life to convenience them! We are the 52% that pay for EVERYTHING! Sc**w the 47% who don’t! Its time real Americans take this country back! Its time the EBT trash work around our schedule, they have all the time in the world!

    • YEAH

    • LibertyDiva

      Alice, you are correct! I am from Nebraska and moved up here a long time ago! =) My point? I always had to show ID before I could vote. I also am so very tired of kowtowing to iimmigrants who don’t respect this country enough to learn our language and customs…let me rephrase…refuse to learn our language and customs. Go home! Save us some money! Oh, sorry…didn’t mean to go quite that far. Good post, Alice. You will vote in November, won’t you? =)

  • worryfree

    Geez Minnesota has a lot of stupid people and many post here. Where did you learn to think?? Republicans want this as one more way to get more votes. Then they wan to kill unions so the only major contributors to campaigns donate to Republicans. Man some of you are naive,.,.

    • Sid

      your post makes no sense at all.

    • Common Sense.

      How can voter id increase voter turnout? And how can one party gain more votes with voter laws? That just don’t make sense.

    • Min Da

      yea and hopefully no more idiots will be elected again. Plus you might want to check out how much union has been destroying america’s largest employers and why they’ve been forced to open factory’s outside our borders. Also how the osha requirements are such that one would believe that there are no longer adults laboring but children, or at least the mentallity of one. worryfree I just wonder if you take responsibility to learn and be accounted for or if you like the new majority expect employers to provide everything???
      I don’t care for which party wins but I do care if whether or not the person is for AMERICA and Our Values, we don’t bow to know one nor expect them to bow to us. FREEDOM & EQUALITY FOR ALL !!!

    • LibertyDiva

      Ditto to Sid’s response. Worryfree you need decaf.

  • Peter Paul

    90% of all voters in Minnesota are white. So even if all non-whites cheat, it still cannot sway elections. The national GOP agenda is to suppress voters who vote for the Democratic Party.

    • Math Problem

      So, all elections are decided by more than a ten percent differential?

    • sarn

      So people who vote for the Democratic party typically don’t carry ID on them? It’s the law to carry identification with you so why would you not need to have one to vote. Would you want people buying guns without needing an ID… because we have a right to bear arms just as much as we have a right to vote. To say that this is an agenda to suppress democratic voters is ridiculous. It’s more of an agenda to suppress people who shouldn’t be voting, like non US citizens, felons, and people who have already voted.

    • Brett

      ANY fraudulent vote is a crime against ALL legitimate voters. To believe otherwise is a vote for anarchy, lawlessness, and a weakened state and nation. I go to considerable trouble to vote LEGALLY, and NO illegal vote should trump MINE, period. If you can’t play by the rules, then get out of the game. Many great Americans sacrificed their lives to try to preserve such a system, we should punish the cheaters big time in our veteran’s honor.

      • snowfire

        We are playing by the rules – this is not a rule yet.
        I agree that requiring an ID to vote is not unreasonable.
        I believe that the GOP believes that having this issue on the ballot will bring out more GOP voters then if it is not on the ballot.

        I would like to see this put into place over time, begin using it in now (was tested in Stillwater yesterday) but it should not be mandatory before 2014, giving everyone a chance to warm up to it, test it and be prepared for it.

        Do remember that this does not guaranty that voter fraud will be eliminated, this is a technology that can be compromised and therefore we are trading one compromising method for another.

      • David Greene

        I could just as easily say that supporting this amendment is support for discrimination, poll taxes and bigotry.

        Let’s not get hyperbolic here.

        • Jackie

          Your a racist! Do you have any shame?

          • Sick and Tired

            Yawn. I am so tired of this argument.

            EVERYTIME someone is in the wrong, this is what they always say. This defensive argument just has no meaning anymore.

        • Swamp Fox

          @David Greene
          No one is getting “hyperbolic” here except the political parties who are this issue as a whipping post to inflame and muddle the real pressing issues at hand. The GOP/T-Party is using this issue to take away debate from their inane ersatz right-wing BS policies while the supposed Democrats are spinning their political wheels just opposing anything the GOP brings out.

          Photo IDs, whether we like them or not, are becoming a necessary evil in the day-&-age. Unless you can come up with a better way to prove who you are then, as imperfect as they may be, photo IDs are here to stay.

  • Good Grief!!!

    Leave it to Minnesotans to argue about something as dumb as this! Why would this make it impossible for some people to vote? Go get an ID!! Everyone is supposed to have one. If you can’t get an ID, don’t you think you probably aren’t legally eligible to vote anyhow??

    • Common Sense.

      It all sounds so simple doesn’t it. lol

      NOT in Minnesota. I think it’s the same people trying to get a stadium who are trying to hash this out. Do. Don’t. Don’t. Do….my head is spinning.

    • David Greene

      How about those who can’t get the required birth certificate to obtain an ID?

      Like, for example, Somali immigrants.

      Or how about the elderly black man from Mississippi. Think they have his records there?

      • Jack

        They can get one, if they are citizens of this country.

        • David Greene

          I’m a citizen and I had to show my birth certificate to get one.

          • Cliff

            Good, the person taking care of you did the right thing, verify your citizenship!

  • Jake

    Many other states already have voter ID laws, including states that trend Democratic. They pass the federal requirements for access to voting, as Minnesota’s law will have to do. This is a reasonable law and will pass as an Amendment.

  • J

    We need ID’s for just about everything, but when it comes to voting, NO WAY NO WAY! If ID’s are not needed for voting, then they should not be required for anything.

    • bobby cee

      Great comment….The elderly have no problem providing an id at the local casinos so that they can receive $2.00 off the buffet……..

  • Jake

    Is it me, or is it ironic that the Reverend is asking folks to find “proof” of something existing before acting on the belief that it exists. Reverend, it’s a matter of faith.

  • Tom

    @ Alice in Wonderland

    Have you looked at the recent data about who is on EBT system? Apparently you haven’t with that stupid commnet. Whites are at the top of that EBT (food stamps) followed by blacks, then the elderly, and at the bottom of list your favorite groups who dont speak english well. So i guess to better get those lazy ass elderly people off the couch.

    • Tom

      @ Alice in Wonderland

      After Newt made that comment about more blacks being in EBT ( Food stamps) he was proven wrong that the people on EBT are as follows 1. Whites 2 blacks 3. Elderly , etc, etc. Try googling sometime.

      • LibertyDiva

        Be nice, Tom.

  • Cliff

    I have to show my ID everytime I see my doctor and the clerk is a friend of mine. Voting is much more important as it effects the entire nation. When I vote I whip out my drivers license and make sure the voting judge sees it, they still go through the drill of reciting my address.

    I won’t throw stones but those that don’t want to have positive identification for performing a critical part of our role as citizens must have something to hide.

  • Stupid simple

    So simple – we have 9 months ahead. You stop in to the local PD or Gubbermint Center and you get a f’ing FREE ID. Cheaper than this bullchit recounting and digging up of whatever. You now don’t have one for the poll you say???? Then you are f’ed , done and stop the crying.
    I have no clue on the fraud but I bet a vote it goes both ways. This solves it. DONE

    • Profound

      Wow…………you really have a lot of insight into the issue. I really wish people like you would run for office since you have such a good “handle’ on things.

      • Peter

        its a pretty simple issue, maybe you shouldn’t read to much into it.

      • @Profound

        Hard to imagine a simpler thing – and if transportation is an issue I can assure you the DFL party will find it for you. Not being snippy on this – they manage to get voters to the polls, and this is the same thing. Just a pre-req. How much simpler can it be?
        IOr do you subscribe to the vote often – vote everywhere belief?
        If not there is no reason not to implement this. What are you afraid of ?

  • Best3800

    Now if I were an illegal of anything or a criminal of a federal crime, why would I try to vote illegally and take a chance on getting thrown back in Jail or thrown out of the country. Criminals may be stupid but Come On! Voting is not that important to a Criminal or an illegal. We all know the real reason why the cons. want to restrict voting.

    • Grynch

      So that they can prevent seniors, veterans, and students from being eligible to vote… give me a break. Any of those people have just as easy access to ID than you and I.

      So are they stripping the liberals of their right to bears arms by requiring ID to purchase a firearm? Are they stripping them of their right to work by having employers require more than one form of ID? I this will definitely not strip away anyone’s right to vote because getting an ID card is cheap and easy. If they can go through the process of registering to vote then they can go through the process of getting proper identification.

    • the last independent

      Innuendo does nothing for me as an independent. What exactly is the real reason the “cons” want to “restrict” voting? I as an independent want it to put this issue to bed, once and for all. Why do you not want it? What are you afraid of? ID’s are free, so what do you have to lose as an apparent non “Con?” I know for a fact as advertised by Secretary of State Richies office that more people voted fraudulently in the last election in Minnesota than Al Frankin won by. I am not saying they all voted for Al, but we will never know that for sure. I want integrity in our elections and for this little price, it sure will stop all the people who should not vote and the dead from voting. The only argument I can see on your side of this is that the people who should not be voting and the dead will be voting….

  • J

    This is not a bad idea to require an ID for voting. It proves it is you and that you are of age and that you are a resident, and can speak basic english. I mean for cryin out loud the banks require 2-4 forms of id and a finger print to just cash a $20.00 check. just make it law and move on to the next non important topic that wastes tax payer money. when are they going to debate the death penalty in MN for crimes that are beyond forgivable. I for one would rather see that on the table then whether or not a person with no id gets to vote or a gay couple can get married. there are a lot more important things that need to be addressed in this state.

  • Randy

    If you’re too LAZY to go get an ID, you’re probably too LAZY to LAZY to know anything about what you’re voting on so STAY HOME ………….. as for the churches,
    if you want to get involved with politics, maybe you should start paying TAXES !!

    • They need to be stripped of TE status

      100% in on this point.
      You can shield yourself until you touch politics. The moment you do you pay taxes like everyone/thing else.
      All the more reason to strip them of it right now – everyone of them as they all guilty of it to a degree. Just holding a caucus meeting is enough….pay up

  • scott

    This should not be a law this way. No matter how bad you want it, changing the constitution should not be done because of politics. The precedent that is going to be set will be damaging, now and in the future. Image when the DFL had control of both houses, and The GOP had the Governor’s office. At that time the DFL could have placed a ballot amendment to raise taxes on the most wealthy. With most Minnesota’s, it would have had a great chance of passing, But that would have been the wrong place to make that law. We need to follow the process, even if it doesn’t work the way you want it. Make your elected official follow the correct process.

  • This one is just crazy

    This one really is a no brainer. The liberal argument here is really not valid. If you don’t have an ID, you don’t deserve to vote.(quite frankly if you draw a government assistance check you don’t deserve to vote either) This liberal mindset is truly like a sickness. It all seems to boil down to taking something that someone else earned because you don’t want to do the hard work of earning it or are guilty about having earned it.

    • David Greene

      So would would strip people of their rights simply because they are poor.

      Liberals are not the scary ones here.

      • Nate

        Poor people have ID too and if not could easily get one like anyone else. Is everything else that requires ID stripping poor people of their rights as well? If so we mine as well just get rid of the concept of having identification period.

        It’s not the liberals that are scary, it’s what this country would turn into if they all had their way, that’s what scary.

        • David Greene

          “quite frankly if you draw a government assistance check you don’t deserve to vote either”

          That’s what I was referring to.

          Voting is a right, unlike everything else you need an ID to do.

          • Swamp Fox

            @David Greene
            Hold on–even the homeless citizens in this state have some form of ID or photo ID! In fact, if they ‘reside’ in a homeless shelter etc. they can legally vote. So, what’s your problem in proving who you are?

            Your arguments against are proving to me why we should have Photo IDs. Too bad many folks aren’t aren’t as honest as you are in proving their identity.

    • smb

      So the whole idea of ‘by the people for the people’ means what to you exactly?

  • smb

    If protecting the integrity of the vote is so important to Republicans then they should take the time to get the law right.

    They can take the time to guarantee every eligible voter has the required paperwork and has the time to get their identification and implement this law in 2013.

    Instead of trying to rush it through before the next election.

  • bassman_54

    Would anyone care to cite the statute the says a person MUST have picture id on them at all times..I can’t find it.

  • dhp

    So what is the big issue with having an ID???? Sheesh people…in this day and age we ALL need to carry identification. AND why are people whining about this being against their constitutional rights..that IS pushing it!
    You can get an ID without having a drivers license…so just stop whining and deal with it!!!

    • David Greene

      No, we don’t all need an ID. My gradmother to my knowledge never had one.

      And we certainly don’t all have an ID with a current address.

      – Students, who move every semester or at least once a year.
      – Veterans returning from tours overseas.
      – The elderly who have entered nursing homes, etc.
      – Anyone who has recently moved.

      I highly doubt that a student with a new address in September can obtain a state ID in time for the November election. Mine usually takes six weeks or more.

      • Swamp Fox

        Your grandmother can prove her identity ahead of time with a photo ID. Does she have a passport, or have legitimate legal friends or neighbors who can go with her to a deputy registrar or Secretary of State’s offices to get a photo ID?

        Students have photo IDs from their schools, vehicle driver licenses, or MN county ID.

        Military Veterans have military IDs[active, reserve, or Guard], with photos or VA photo IDs.

        Most elderly have some photo IDs from Nursing facilities, county assistance departments, pt IDs, or county IDs. This is not counting health insurance photo IDs etc.

        As for anyone who moved, surely must have some form of photo ID like drivers license which must be changed within 30 days of moving/change of address, credit cards, bank photo ID, or recent MN county ID card showing the new address.

        As for your new state ID with change of address, don’t you have a photo ID to prove who you are and the receipt copy of the state ID showing your new address along with recent mail to prove your residency? What’s the problem then?

        We live in the 21st Century and the conditions for fraud exist whether we like it or not. There are a lot of photo ID examples that can prove identity and residency so what’s the problem? It’s the sign of the times so we might as well deal with it.

        Just remember; one photo ID’d person at the polls gets one ballot. Ballots counts vs voter counts means easy tabulations at the end of the day. It’s that simple.

        • David Greene

          This amendment says nothing about what kind of ID is acceptable. It’s quite probably that most of the IDs you list would not be valid.

          At the hearing the term “current valid ID” was used often. Generally this means a picture ID with your current address on it. It’s not at all clear that an address change form from the DMV would be accepted.

          Are students supposed to get a new ID every time they move? Generally it has been fine for them to have an ID with their home address. That is not good enough for this proposal. They would not able able to vote in their school’s district.

          What if someone moves a week before the election? A day?

          There are so many holes in this proposal that it strikes me as dangerous and unconstitutional.

          Voting is a right. We dare not mess with it to limit access.

          • Swamp Fox

            @David Greene
            You are telling me and implying that US Government IDs, state IDs, county IDs, and probably a US Passport[or passport card] may not be legitimate photo identification? As for address proof there are legitimate forms of proofs for that.

            Students have the schools’ IDs, driver licenses, and the like. However, a student who is a non-resident[by legal statutory definition] of the of this state, county, or precinct should think twice about voting near the district if he/she is eligible to vote in their actual “home” district. The same holds true for “snowbirds”. You can’t legally vote in two in two separate districts–in person or by absentee ballots as the case now exists. Otherwise, you will have problems with students and snowbirds.

            There maybe holes with this proposal but simplicity, common sense, and sincerity must prevail to have a workable, non-political legitimate solution to this voter identification problem we face in Minnesota.

            Yes, voting is a right. Unfortunately, we in Minnesota and the US have messed with or limited access for many to the voting booths. Photo IDs and proper proof to who one is just keeps the process legit, American, and legally-Constitutionally, available to all citizens. Proving who you are is a small price to endure for this inalienable American right.

      • Come on people

        You already have a picture ID – all you need is to get the damn thing clipped and apply for an address change. That so hard?
        My Grandmother is 92. She has a photo ID, A SS card and as far as I know always had.
        People – I’m a lib and I got XERO issue on this. What the hell is your real problem here ??? You just love to provide the ammo to the enemy to make us look like crooks and cheaters??? Come on — just go what is right. That is being ABLE to show you are really someone. It’s the honest and fair thing to do to put this to rest

  • CommonMan

    People who are to lazy to get an ID should not be allowed to vote.
    People all have IDs when they are in casinos to get their free stuff.
    Yes all MN casinos require a valid ID to get any free perks or to collect a jackpot over $1200.00 So is that wrong?

  • David Greene

    “People who are to lazy to get an ID should not be allowed to vote.”

    So it is no longer a right, then?

    It amazes me how many people are willing to just throw away the rights of others.

  • Chris

    The same people who don’t want a voter ID requirement want the people who donate to political parties to be ID’d.

    Can you say political hacks?
    How about hypocrites?
    How about blinded by righteousness fanatics?

  • Swamp Fox

    This issue is a no brainer. For those who want to vote just show up to the Secretary of State’s office or deputy, prove who you are, get your photo ID, and just register to vote, Better yet, go to a local deputy registrars’ office and get your photo ID.

    You need IDs for banking, credit transactions, airport security, bars, shopping, etcetera. Veterans, students, licensed drivers, assistance recipients, border crossings [Canada/Mexico], firearms buyers, ‘legal’ naturalized citizens, and many seniors have photo IDs. So what’s the beef! Quit your whining and enact legislation for such instead of wasting taxpayers money on a state constitutional amendment. This is the 21st Century and the opportunities for fraud could be rampant if preventative measures aren’t taken.

    Snowbirds and students you better take notice that photo IDs help prevent double voting in two different state elections. Make every vote count show your proper ID!

    • David Greene

      What kind of ID? We don’t know yet.

      700,000 Minnesotans currently don’t have a state ID or don’t have a state ID with their current address.

      Are we really going to deny 700,000 people their right to vote?

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