ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A state Senate committee has approved a constitutional amendment asking Minnesotans to decide whether voting should require a photo ID despite objections from Secretary of State Mark Ritchie that it will be difficult to implement and increase federal government oversight of the state’s elections.

The Senate State Government Committee approved the amendment 8-5 Wednesday on a party-line vote. If the GOP-backed amendment makes it all the way through the Legislature, the final decision will rest with voters statewide in November.

Ritchie testified Tuesday that implementing a photo ID requirement is likely to be expensive for his office to implement. He also says the federal Department of Justice is likely to get more involved in monitoring Minnesota elections to make sure that civil rights are not violated.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (47)
  1. James says:

    “He also says the federal Department of Justice is likely to get more involved in monitoring Minnesota elections to make sure that civil rights are not violated.”

    Oh damn.

    I guess they’ll have to pad the election when the bill is up for a vote. kind of like the last chance to organize a state wide voter fraud scheme before the feds get involved and enforce the law.

    Interesting how these people think.

    1. The Truth says:

      Actually, what’s interesting to me is how Republicans scream “Voter Fraud” every time they lose in election. It’s become as predictable as “Liberal Media” to excuse their losses as well.

      I also find it interesting that Republicans are actually proposing an amendment that is both costly and requires additional government intervention. Why not just take that Republican party platform and burn it.

      1. Jackie says:

        Republicans being hypocritical?!?! Say it ain’t so!

  2. Tom says:

    I am sure the conservatives in this state are breathing a little bit better that they solved a problem that only existed in their minds. They have yet shown us any REAL proof that shows us that there is wide spread voter fraud. But you can’t show the rest of something that does not exist.

    1. Pete says:

      time will tell, dems fighting hard to stop this, question is why?

      1. Ineligible Voter says:

        @ The Truth

        You’re exactly right. I have never had a state issued ID and I want to buy a gun to exercise my constitutional right to bear arms and now I can’t bear arms or vote, it’s complete BS.

      2. Mary says:

        I just watched a youtube video of a guy getting 15-20 registration forms for people he said couldn’t come in-in Minnesota counties. Every place he went they just handed him stacks of registration forms and they told him that these people could vote absentee if they wanted. He asked if they needed an ID and the response was “NO” in very case. REALLY!! One person in these offices said that MN is the kind of state that may do something about voter fraud after the fact, but they are not doing anything before hand. Pretty sad!! All you doom & gloom people forget that anyone can get a FREE photo ID. So how is that denying them the vote? Oh, I know, that would mean that they actually have to get off their butts and go get one-God forbid. I need a picture ID for everything that I want to do, even join a gym, but not for voting–why is that?? It is really interesting to me- if there is no voter fraud in this state, then what are the Democrats afraid of??

        1. Ace says:

          Mary, you’re absolutely right. I also think it wouldn’t be a bad idea to require an I.Q. test too.

          1. Bill Clintons Cigar says:

            What is all this I.Q test cr*p? If we had a law stating that you had to have an IQ greater than a dead deers anal cavity……no politician would ever get elected……

        2. Anna says:

          To vote via absentee, there has to be a legitimate reason for voting “absentee”. You do need some sort of identification when filling out the absentee registration. You should know that, you will need an ID number. This will be one of the following: Drivers license number, A state ID number, or part of your social security number. You cannot register to vote w/o one unless you go thru a very complicated process. So, you made not need a picture ID to vote in absentee registration, but if you have a “number” you can. The numbers used to approve those registrations are checked against records. Absentee voting is complicated, and many ppl who don’t fill out the registration/ballot correctly, do not get their vote counted.
          The problem here is not so much having an ID, it is an updated one. Under the old voting laws, if you register, you need an ID number, addy etc. and register at least 21 days before. If you register on the day of voting – you do need an ID w/photo, but if its your old addy, you also need a utility bill to show you live at that addy, and a neighbor who is registered to vote in that precinct to vouch for you. That voucher as to also sign for that new registered vote. When you do vote at your precinct and have previously registered, you have to “sign” next to your name. No one knows really who has already voted, or not. To vote in place of someone else, you have to know that they are registered, and know they have not voted b/4 you do it, or after. The charges if you are caught when it is this tricky, are too high.

      3. Pete says:

        that is such a lame excuse, nobody is buying it. This bill will pass in a landslide. So again I ask, why? No more mentals from homes? Bums from the street, illegals from the bean fields? Come on fess up like the Acorn you are.

      4. christine says:

        I usually vote Democrat, but I can only answer for myself. I think this is wrong for a couple of different reasons: 1. There is no fraud – we’ve had 2 major recount elections in Minnesota in the past few years and there is NO EVIDENCE of any voter fraud. 2. Voting is a RIGHT – people should not be denied their right to vote because they don’t have a picture I.D. Because you don’t have money does not mean you don’t get to vote. 3. Because Minnesota I.D.’s are not issued at the time of application (usually a wait of at least 2 weeks) would make it impossible to vote if you have recently moved or hadn’t planned ahead in getting an I.D. Every American has a right to vote. It should not infringed upon by a group of people who believes that denying certain voters their rights will enhance their chance to be elected.

    2. James says:

      Hey Tom, can you say Mark Dayton? Can you say Al Franken? what more REAL proof do you need?

      I realize these are very general statements. In fact, having voter ID properly implemented would prevent the possibility of a legal voter voting more than once, or at least minimize the litigation following a closely contested race. The very fact that we’ve faced legal challenges in two recent election cycles demonstrates the need for further improvements in securing the dignity of a vote, no matter what the contested outcome.

      1. Tom says:

        @ James

        So what you are saying then if Coleman and Emmers would have won you would NOT be claiming wide spread voter fraud because your candidatee would have won.

        1. James says:

          @Tom, correct. I would be concentrating right now on passing a right to work bill.

          1. Alberto says:

            Tim, you cite some empealxs of what could go wrong with a vote-by-mail system, but no evidence that those problems exist in any significant way. Any voting system, whether it’s mail-in, Diebold machines, paper ballots, etc., is susceptible to its own set of issues. The question is whether those problems are prevalent enough, on the margin, to represent a real threat to the security, privacy and integrity of the voting process. For mail-in voting, I don’t see that that’s the case, although I would certainly change my mind if I saw enough evidence of voter intimidation for a mail-in system. Oregon has had an exclusively mail-in system for many years, and so far, we haven’t seen such problems. We have, however, seen a 10% increase in turnout, and in the 2004 election Oregon’s turnout was third-highest in the country.To mitigate mail-in voting risks, set up the same provisions you would to protect in-person voting an anonymous whistleblower line for people to report threats and such. Pass stricter laws against voter intimidation or vote tampering. But don’t discount the real benefits offered by mail-in voting: convenience; not having to take off work to rush across town to my polling place (no small feat for hourly wage workers, mind you); the ability to complete my ballot on my schedule and at my leisure, rather than being rushed in a voting booth; not being swayed last-minute by activists and signs on the way to the polling booth; etc.

        2. James says:

          I think that’s consistent. If you have one sick person in the world who cuts the ears off little kittens, I’d probably leave it to the local police to worry about. If you have an entire population of sick people who cut the ears off little kittens and aren’t stopped, I’d be crying foul. I think there’s a lot more attention and debate when you’re working hard to prevent the sick people from cutting ears off kittens and those committing the crime are out there crying to the news and other media “but the kittens like it!” It kind of makes it a harder conversation.

          I think the legislature is doing the right thing with this bill. Bring it up to the voters and you’ll see there are many kitten lovers out there that don’t want their kitten’s ears cut off. I think you’ll also identify the people cutting off the ears, and how despicable their intentions really are. It all starts with the ears, then they sodomize cattle, then the next thing you know they’re all wearing their underwear on the light rail train to work one day — and nobody even blinks.

          1. James says:

            I kind of like how I tied that all together right there. You laughed because you know its true.

            1. Say Cheese says:

              Let the GO-Pee pay for every ones Photo ID Cards.

      2. Mary says:

        YES!! Did you not see the report of the hundreds of thousand of people who voted in the last elections around the country-including Minnesota, and the votes were cast by DEAD people. Gee that’s not fraud is it?

        This was in all of the newspapers about a week ago.

        1. Anna says:

          No, that so called “report” is not true. I am not sure how you can say that. What evidence to you have to claim. I know there was someone trying to test that. He had the right names, but the wrong ppl. Checking against birth dates, locations is important. There are always a few “dead” citizens at the time of voting that may be left on the database, but they did not actually vote.

  3. Kevin says:

    Oh my GOD! How will the poor vote? How with the immirgants vote? How will the blacks vote? How will the elderly vote? My GOD ! Next they will demand that voting paperwork must be all in ENGLISH! Are they INSANE? Who the hel* do they think they are? HILTER? BUSH? SATIN? They will now refuse the Muslims an area at the voter booth to pray! WHERE WILL IT STOP????

    1. The Truth says:

      Actually, Kevin makes a valid point. We shouldn’t worry about requiring an ID. We should require an IQ. Not sure that’s the point he intended to make, but it works for me.

      1. Tom says:

        @ The Truth

        If we required an IQ then none of the conservatives in this state would be allowed to vote!

        1. Mary says:

          None of you doom and gloom liberals would either!!-guess there wouldn’t be much of a contest then.

  4. J D FROM ALA says:


    You’ve thought this thru & may even predict the next chapter on this issue.

  5. Sandy says:

    The MN ID’s are free so I don’t understand how this is not fair. It isn’t going to hurt the lower class because they have to have ID to collect welfare and if the person can’t get the ID then they should not be able to vote either. What is so hard about having an ID.

    1. Land of the Free says:

      It’s not really about getting the picture ID or the ability of people to vote.

      It’s about the liberals having any excuse they can to try and lable conservatives as racist or discriminatory.

      Why would any sane person want only legal citizens to have a say in our country’s future?

      I say let any uneducated, uniformed, unemployed, illegal vote for more government socialism. That is the Democratic way and it will surely get us out of our budget deficit and debt.

  6. Rentacop says:

    To: Ineligible Voter,

    I take it you don’t have a Drivers License ?

    1. Ineligible Voter says:

      No I don’t but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be able to drive either.

  7. Mama says:

    More government by GOP that cries for less government. Why am I not surpised?

    1. Mayumi says:

      Voting by mail certainly eliatns security risks, but are these risks so substantial that state governments should discourage the practice? Perhaps, but how can we answer this question without first investigating the frequency with which ballots sent in the mail are actually compromised? Given the harsh penalties associated with mail and voter fraud, my hunch is that absentee ballots are rarely compromised in practice. But, of course, I could very well be wrong in making this assumption. And, as you note, many instances of misconduct (i.e. employers demanding to view their employees’ absentee ballots) likely go unreported. Still, it seems highly unlikely that rampant acts of voter fraud could occur in the United States without quite a few instances of it making into the press or being reported to authorities. It’s also important to note that a major reason voting by mail is popular is because it’s convenient. People rightly tend to place a great deal of value on their time traveling to a voting booth and waiting in line can be quite time-consuming. (When I voted in the 2008 national election in Arlington, Virginia, I spent almost half an hour waiting in line.) Voting by mail enables many productive U.S. citizens to spend more time doing their jobs and thus, in many cases, creating wealth. Before government discourages voting by mail, it should first consider the positive and negative effects of the practice by weighing the magnitude and probability of voter fraud against the economic benefits of voting by mail.

  8. questioning says:

    Republicans equal bigger government. More rules, more regulations, less freedoms. At least we know that next November, these guys will be out of office.

    1. Nate says:

      Can you tell me what the lottery numbers will be too please?

  9. Rentacop says:

    Secretary Mark Ritchie,

    My wife and I have had to show our photo I.D. (drivers license) for years. Both in Anoka County and now in Otter Tail County. You must not keep up on what goes on in your own state.

    1. Land of the Free says:

      Note to self. Anoka and Otter Tail county are employing unfair voting restrictions. Call the ACLU!

  10. Rentacop says:

    Land Of The Free,

    We don’t have a problem showing our I.D. In fact we are proud to show it. Whether it’s a Drivers License or a State issued I D card, EVERYONE should be required to show it. We have to show our License most everywhere else anyway so 1 more place shouldn’t matter.

  11. Suzi N. says:

    You can’t drive, get a legitimate job, apply for aid, open a bank account, use checks and credit cards, buy cigarettes, alcohol or guns, or get into a bar without a state issued driver’s license or id. Why on earth would anyone be opposed to requiring id for voting, unless they are encouraging voter fraud?

    Maybe I’m naive, but I would guess that the majority of people without proper id are minors, illegals, and criminals in hiding. None of them should be voting. In addition, there are those suffering from severe mental illness – like paranoid schizophrenia, who may fear the government. But if they have enough fear to avoid ids, I doubt they would register to vote, either.

    1. christine says:

      My mother-in-law no longer drives, doesn’t work (she is 89), and lives in an assisted-living facility. Her I.D. expired years ago. Are you saying she doesn’t have a right to vote?

  12. EJ says:

    Darn, now I can’t have my pet monkey do my vote. He does have a licenses from the dog pound. Kevin can I get one of those fake ID’s? He really enjoyed voting the past few years.

  13. MAJ says:

    Went to get a duplicate copy of my grandson’s birth certificate. Guess what—-had to show my drivers license. NO BIG Deal. Yesterday as people voted in WI. they had to show an ID. They are ahead of us.

  14. molly says:

    Voter I.D. Law = no voter fraud
    Why are the dems so scared of honesty and truth?

    1. christine says:

      Why spend money and have more government regulation for a “problem” that doesn’t exist? I thought republicans HATE government regulation? Why are Republicans so afraid to let every American vote?

  15. scott says:

    No jobs bill, so they need to make something up. Waste of time, and clutters the constitution with amendments that should instead be laws the conventional way. Arguing only separates us, and keeps the working ants busy, while politicians work only to stay in power.

  16. Hank Rearden says:

    time will tell, dems fighting hard to stop this, question is why? I agree.

  17. Hank Rearden says:

    I agree. If liberals had their way Conservatives wouldn’t get to vote. Its called totalitarianism.

  18. Andrea says:

    Out of the 3, i would say orson should be given a encosd chance, Chloe’s picture would have gotten a better evaluation if the picture if the aspect ratio was 4:3, which means she would to take a more panoramic picture twice. I also believe the use of photoshop was too much in that picture. I’m not trying to be mean but this contest is for the best photographer, not photoshopper(if thats what u call it) .Michael’s photo, imho is terrible. Unable to see the surroundings of the girl, it lacks a story. however, the girl did do a good job to look engrossed in the photo.The other thing i dislike about the photo is the headphones. Maybe because I’m an audiophile, I can clearly tell this is a pair of Bose headphones, and this looks like a photo I would see on the packaging of the product. Replace the girl with a celebrity and it would clearly be product endorsement.Orson’s photo may not be ideal, but i do think he should get the encosd chance. Although the lighting is far from ideal, i do see a field behind the roses, which gives it a sense of space. It makes me think about someone doing gardening, in fact if there was someone doing gardening in this photo i think it would’ve gotten better results. But still, with the background showing a house and some roses at the front, it suggests to me a simple, quiet life.To be quiet may not represent total silence, but i do think its close enough.Ah yes, about the other contestants, Brian from Jamaica and Forest from U.S photo seemed to appeal to me as the best this round. Just had to post it, too lazy to explain

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