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Tight Race Expected For Voter ID Amendment

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(credit: CBS) Heather Brown
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By WCCO’s Heather Brown

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The latest polls show Minnesotans are split on a state constitutional amendment to require identification to vote. With the race so close, both sides have been working furiously to get out the vote.

At the TakeAction Minnesota office in St. Paul, volunteers have been manning the phones – making 200,000 calls in the last three days. They ask the voter if they know of the amendment and then offer information about what they believe will be the effects.

Opponents say the measure will cost $50 million and make it difficult for people without ID to vote.

Julie Holmen has been volunteering for the past two months.

“We are politicizing the right to vote. It really upsets me,” Holmen said.

About 10 miles north, volunteers supporting the amendment spent the day hanging door knockers in areas they believe are likely to vote in favor of requiring IDs. Over the past three days, they say they will have made it to 25,000 homes in the Twin Cities metro area.

Supporters call the ID requirement a common-sense solution, and say it won’t cost anywhere near $50 million.

Cole Carlson hung knockers in the Swan Lake neighborhood of Blaine today.

“I just thought it was common sense, and I wanted to help where I could,” Carlson said.

When this amendment first went on the ballot, opponents say it had support around 80 percent. But now that support has shrunk.

TakeAction’s Executive Director Dan McGrath says informing the public of the amendment’s potential consequences is crucial.

“Most people’s predisposition was to say, ‘A photo ID is a good idea.’ We said we had to get to those folks and actually share the facts,” McGrath said.

Protect Our Vote Field Director John Rouleau says more of the movement has to do with faulty polls, TV and radio ads.

“This was a non-partisan issue and I still think it is non-partisan. We have support across all three major parties,” Rouleau said.

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