MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota will have two constitutional amendments in the next election, after the House and Senate voted in favor of the latest on Wednesday.
The votes for the Voter I.D. amendment fell nearly entirely along party lines. Republicans voted for it, but Democrats opposed it.
Republicans largely support the bill. They consider it fraud prevention especially in a state with a history of close elections. But Democrats say it’ll suppress votes of students, minorities and elderly Minnesotans, all largely democratic voters who don’t have access to a voter I.D. or would be burdened to get one.
The amendments will ask voters simple yes or no questions, like the one below:
“Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to require all voters to present valid photo identification to vote and to require the state to provide free identification to eligible voters, effective July 1, 2013?”
If you leave the amendment question blank on the ballot, you’re essentially voting no for it. In order to actually vote for the amendment, you have to fill in yes.
The other constitutional amendment, so far, is a ban on gay marriage.
The reason for two amendments in one election comes down to simple politics. Mark Dayton is a DFL Governor, but the Republicans control the legislature.
“The legislature can put constitutional amendments on the ballot without the approval of the Governor, so they’re getting around a Governor that opposes these particular Constitutional Amendments,” said Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Minnesota.
Pearson said there could be other constitutional amendments brought up before the November election.