Reporting Esme Murphy
The Republican leaders in the Minnesota Legislature believed putting the Voter ID and Marriage Amendments on the ballot would increase voter turnout, help Republican candidates statewide, and boost their majorities in both houses of the legislature.
The opposite happened.
Yes, voter turnout was 76 percent. But voters went against both Amendments, Sen. Amy Klobuchar won re-election by 35 percent, Rep. Chip Cravaack lost, Rep. Michele Bachmann almost lost and Republicans lost both houses of the legislature.
The Marriage Amendment failed to carry even Republican strongholds like Scott County were Mitt Romney beat the President 56 percent to 41 percent, but the Marriage Amendment was rejected 51 percent to 49 percent.
Perhaps it was the still dire economy, voters resenting being forced to vote on social issues when all polls suggest the economy is their No. 1 concern. Perhaps it is part of a national trend, voters in three other states legalized gay marriage.
Perhaps voters may have resented putting a gay marriage ban in the Constitution, when Minnesota law already makes gay marriage illegal. Perhaps a wave of ads demonstrating that seniors without drivers licenses would have to get a state ID to vote may have changed minds.
Voters spoke on Tuesday and it is difficult to interpret the results as anything but a sharp rebuke of Republican legislators who put the Voter ID and Marriage Amendments on the ballot.