By Bill Hudson

ST.PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — Minnesota’s nearly three million registered voters must sign a registry when they go to their polling place, but they don’t have to produce photo identification. That, however, might change soon.

The Republican controlled legislature is currently pushing a measure that would leave the question of voter ID up to voters on the November ballot.

Recent contested elections have given rise to concerns about imposter voters and the potential for fraud at the ballot box.

Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, a Republican in support of the measure and who also authored its legislation, says that deterring fraud and detecting fraud at the ballot is a reasonable measure, according to the courts.

Kiffmeyer’s legislation passed in 2011, but it was vetoed by Gov. Mark Dayton.

In response to the veto, Republican backers of a voter ID law requested that a question be placed on the fall ballot asking voters if the state constitution should be amended.

Democratic Congressman Keith Ellison is now getting into the fray, saying a voter ID law will only suppress turnout and make voting a privilege, not a right.

“This is truly a solution in search of a problem,” Ellison said.

Ellison argues that even free, government-issued IDs will disenfranchise too many voters who don’t have the means to pay for documents proving their citizenship.

“The real solution they are looking for is to alter the outcome of elections by excluding legitimate, eligible Minnesota voters,” Ellison said.

Kiffmeyer counters, saying that in all the cases where voter identification was put to the courts, not a single case of disenfranchisement was found.

Currently, there are eight states with laws requiring a photo ID before voting. However, some of those states still need federal approval.

Wisconsin’s law, which passed last year, just went into effect this month.

Comments (20)
  1. MAJ says:

    Makes no sense that you can vote without Photo I.D. Try getting on an airplane without Photo I.D. The time has come that we make sure only people vote that are U.S. citizens.

    1. jimmy says:

      Illegals get on airplanes I guess photo ID is just a way to spend taxpayer money.

  2. Jason says:

    Good its about time.

  3. Jim says:

    If the people of Minnesota vote to require a picture ID to vote why would anyone that is supposed to listen to the voters have a issue with it Keith????

  4. jimmy says:

    You watched someone vote 3 times and did nothing about it? You don’t deserve to vote.

    1. We need voter ID's!! says:

      Oh I tried/said something! THANKS FOR JUDGING THOUGH 😦
      What 80 year old election judge is going to say something then be accused of being racist??
      The PC climate is killing America….we’re in deep doo 😦

  5. Chad says:

    This is going to help to reduce voter fraud.

    If you need an ID to buy ciggerates, to get on a plane, or even to drive, then what’s so bad about having to show your ID when you’re voting.

    There’s absolutely no reason not to require an ID for voting, especially since there are non-driver’s license ID’s for those who can’t drive.

  6. Swamp Rat says:

    If what you say is true—Why didn’t you say something to the election judge, polling observers, or the MN Secretary of State’s office immediately? Waiting until now to say something is ludicrous and makes your remarks sound rather biased &/or some what discriminatory in tone.

    As much as I “don’t” want to see absolute photo IDs as absolute proof to prove one’s identity, photo IDs are becoming a necessary evil and fact of life in this country. You can not apply for many services, credit, etcetera without some form of photo ID.

    Affordability of the photo ID should not/would not be a problem for those citizens who need such. The MN Secretary of State office, along with Legislative mandated authority, can issue phot ID registration applications through the various Deputy Registrars’ offices throughout MN, and selected state social services offices.

    Like a US Passport Applications, ID photos will be taken and handling fees paid. However, in the case of the indigent applicant some declaration of income status shall be made. This photo ID card is for polling place ID and prove of residency; the cost is free. These for generalized state issued photo ID are a backup for not having a US Passport, Passport Card, Governmet or Military IDs, MN Drivers License, County Issued ID cards and other valid recognized photographic identification. This includes those naturalized US citizens who carry their immigrant naturalization cards on them.

    If you can’t prove your identity, address, and/or citizenship, besides an addressed utility bill, at the polls then you have a problem.

    Voting is a Constitutional right but there are abuses of this right that must be addressed. It’s time for all political parties and factions to get on board with this proposal. However, a state constitutional amendment IS NOT the way to this. The Legislature should be doing this without rancor or BS hyperbole if their constituencies tell them so.

    1. Brett says:

      You make a lot of good points, Rat, but seeing so many election ‘judges’ just waving people through the process makes my hair stand on end. Absolutely NO scrutiny in the process of voting whatsoever. A MUMMY could try to get past them and most of the judges wouldn’t even blink an eye. I think that we need to do the third world method and have each voter get their thumbs INKED, so some can’t vote more than once.

    2. swamp liver says:

      Basically, the homeless have no right to vote. Classic, class warfare

      1. Swamp Rat says:

        @swamp liver
        What’s this comment have to do with having ID for voting? Please explain yourself since you brought up a good reason for having some form of identification. The MN homeless do have voting rights even if their address is the local city rescue mission and they can prove it. Think about that!

  7. John says:

    Show me real evidence of one election in Minnesota that has been decided by voter fraud.

  8. the lover says:

    As if old people and the minority population have the money to fly on a plane…sounds like voter suppression to me. You just want less people voting of color and financially challenged means.

    Shouldn’t you can make laws making it easier to vote ike early voting & national holiday for voting. unless, unless unless you don’t want certain people voting.

    1965 all over again…

  9. Smithers says:

    The voter id law is a way to disenfranchise the poor and elderly, which usually vote democratic. There are virtually no cases of voter fraus. Don’t believe it, go look for yourself. Find the court cases.

    Check out what the Republican secretary of state was charged with:

  10. Ruth says:

    Voter ID should be a no-brainer. Everyone should be able to get a photo ID whether it’s a driver’s license or state-issued ID, regardless of their financial/ economic status; In fact, in order to get ANY type of assistance, photo ID should be required.

  11. See BS says:

    ACORN workers have plead guilty to felony voter registration fraud in the State of Minnesota.

    They arrested Joshua Reed at the Airport with over 300 bogus voter registration cards in the trunk of his car.

    Voter Registration fraud supresses voters too

  12. Dems need fraud says:

    Note that the Democrats want to preserve avenues for voter fraud as they tend to benefit from it. As the Democratic Chicago and New York political machines used to say: vote and vote often.

  13. HomelessinMinnesota says:

    Ok, so the amendment will be on the ballot this next November. Hooray! But what about the thousands of homeless folks without an address? Even the homeless have a right to vote, don’t they? Or will they be considered criminals simply becasue they lack an address? What will be the solution for these homelless citizens?

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