ST. PAUL (WCCO) — A proposed constitutional amendment to make voters show a photo ID at the polls is now halfway to a spot on the November ballot.

The Minnesota House passed the proposal 72-62 late Tuesday night.

Below is a small sample of some of the things said by representatives during the nine-hour debate.

Rep. Joe McDonald (R-District 19B)
“This is not a barrier,” said “We lift the barrier. It allows us as representatives to call (constituents) up and help them and to give them an ID.”

Rep. Ryan Winkler (DFL-District 44B)
“The problem with this is: we can’t fix this with legislation. The only way we can fix problems with this is with a further constitutional amendment.”

Rep. Tony Cornish (R-District 24B)
“I’ve had two Red Bulls, four cups of coffee and I wish the house cameras were here because I’m ready to green light this. … I think there’s a lot of support for this. So I can’t believe why you’re beating up on old people and making it look like they can’t take care of themselves or can’t make decisions.”

Rep. Steve Simon (DFL-District 44A)
“What we’re seeing tonight is just a display of political power. … What Minnesotans want is more will-power from lawmakers, they don’t want lawmakers going as far as they can.”

Rep. Mike Benson (R-District 30B)
“When voters are finally allowed to vote on this very prudent measure to safeguard our elections system, to bring integrity to our elections system, then it will receive overwhelming support.”

Rep. Karen Clark (DFL-District 61A)
“What really, really concerns me about this proposal is what’s been described by several people is voter suppression. We need to look at voter suppression as much as we need to look at fraud.”

Comments (74)
  1. Balanced Beam says:

    Does Representative Simon suggest that the Governor vetoing a bill or a DFL-controlled Legislature passing legislation is not an exercise of “political power”? What a hypocrite.

    1. a good reaming says:

      My sphincter hurts.

      1. Ace says:

        so does my zephyr window

    2. Tom says:

      @ Balances Beam

      This problem only exists in the conservatives bubble! Would you be claiming voter fraud if Coleman and Emmers would have won? Doubt it!

      1. Balanced Beam says:

        @Tom. First, I would not be claiming voter fraud does not exist if the Republicans won. It does. But you miss the point. Steve Simon is complaining that the Republicans are simply exercising political power. Would he be whining if it were an amendment to recognize same-sex marriage? Of course not, because he supports that. He is a hypocrite.

        1. Tom says:

          @ Balanced Beam

          Welll the GOP is having the citizens vote in Nov on the gay marriage issue. And they are going after unions. Now the GOP supposedly says FREEDOM for all and less gov’t in our lives, and they do the exact opposite they dont practice what they preach. What GOP really stands for is “FREEDOM for most us except for a select few”.

      2. Fred says:

        Lots of fraud, all un-‘reported’, when we have this current, lousy system of “I can voucher for anyone, anywhere, anytime” with no proof required. Strangers vouching for strangers..especially in districts that are overwhelmingly voting DFL. If we had had voter-ID requirement in 2008 and 2010, the Al and Mark would not be in office today. simple truth. We have residents of Wisconsin voting in MN because they are college students and TRULY believe that they are allowed to vote here. People vouch for them. Save goes with immigrants that are not citizens. all the time, very election. MUST stop

        1. llp says:

          Sounds like Jim Crow to me.

          1. Balanced Beam says:

            Of course it does, because you don’t have a real argument against it.

        2. Huh says:

          If the fraud is unreported, then how do you know it exists?

          C’mon, show us some evidence of widespread voter fraud. You can’t because it doesn’t exist. Besides, has anyone really thought about the logisitcs required to engage in this sort of voter fraud to throw an election? Rub a couple of neurons together and report back.

          1. Brett says:

            The fraud is THERE, just because the mass media has failed to report it doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen. It MEANS that the mass media is NOT DOING THEIR JOB(s).

    3. Brett says:

      Maybe simon should hook up with dayton, and they can have a meeting of the “minds”. Sheesh.

  2. Minnesotareader says:

    Could someone explain why people wouldn’t want people to have to show and ID before voting? I don’t get it. I remember the first time I went to vote, I was so surprised that I didn’t have to show and ID. It seems like a good thing to me.

    1. mjl says:

      It’s not.. do not worry about graft and leave the Constition alone.. We, as American citizens have a right to vote and the current method of proving citizenship is working just fine! I have been an election judge and we are scrupulous in paying attention to the rights and responsibilities of our voters.. Just be glad that people vote!!

      1. Jed says:

        there is no current way of showing citizenship. we currently have in excess of 100,000 non citizens in this state, I think its worth the effort to insure that our constitutional right of one vote for one citizen is intact.

        1. Rob Schwartrz says:

          “100,000 non-citizens in this state” (non-bias source needed in order to be fact)

          1. Fred says:

            No, Rob, it is yoooooour duty to prove that statement wrong. Until then, it is Jed’s logical/reasonable opinion…which is good enough for me.

            1. llp says:

              Opinions are like butt holes everybodys got one some just stink more then others

              1. Fred says:

                thanks for an absolutely useless reply

              2. Ibou says:

                16a13635158You actually make it aapper really easy along with your presentation however I find this topic to be really something that I think I’d by no means understand. It seems too complicated and extremely huge for me. I’m looking ahead for your next put up, I will try to get the grasp of it! 18d

          2. Jed says:

            The department of homeland security imigration stats (available on line) estimates 60,000 illegal immigrants in Minnesota. If you add the 30,000 somolis and other refugees (non-cititzen) you will exceed 100,000 easily. All of this is listed on Mn demagraphic web site and homeland securitys. Non Bias enough for you.

          3. Jed says:

            According to homeland security, mn has over 60,000 illegals and according to mn population demographics, mn has over 35,000 somolians and additional 10,000 other legal aliens. Thats all on line.

            1. pat says:

              Hello Ron? Earth to Ron, Jed listed some facts, where is your reply?

              Ron is huddled into a little ball in the corner….

        2. Let's Be Real says:

          I assume you are implying illegal immigrants. It is silly to think they are running to the polls to vote. The last thing they want is to call attention to themselves – putting themselves in a position where their voting status would be challenged – at the polls or thru a recount of some sort.

        3. Brett says:

          100,000 non citizens? I think that your figure is probably low, REALLY LOW. I’d bet that it is at least TWICE THAT FIGURE, certainly enough to sway ANY election in THIS state.

      2. Minnesotareader says:

        Correct me if I am wrong, but there is not a method of proving citizenship right now, when you go to the polls. All you have to do, the first time you vote, is show proof of your address. Anyone can show a piece of mail with an address on it. Once you have done that then you are good to go forever. Someone could easily go vote for for me, if they knew I was out of town or something, couldn’t they?

        1. Let's Be Real says:

          Everyone makes it sound this easy – someone can just walk in and say they are you and vote. Yes, the person would have to be on the voter registration list – but people on the list are usually there because they vote. They would have to know you would not be voting to be successful. Even if you are out of town, they would not know if you used an absentee ballot. The problem would be caught if there were multiple votes at the same address.

          The other claim is it’s easy because no one “knows” you. I question this. I grew up in a small rural township where people know who lives in the area so a poll worker or someone else voting would know you were not who you were claiming to be. Now I live in St. Paul and I still run into poll workers I know as well as neighbors – so there is a good chance that someone would be there who would challenge the person claiming to be their neighbor.

          It is not that easy to do. And the rewards are not that great for the risk involved of being caught – just to be able to add one extra vote.

        2. Brett says:

          Exactly. Didn’t you hear about the mother, who voted “absentee” for her daughter, even though she was outside of her voting district, and (GET THIS) she had ALREADY VOTED?? Yet when caught, even though it is a FELONY, it got “plea bargained” down to virtually NOTHING. SO MUCH for VOTER INTEGRITY. The mother showed virtually ZERO REMORSE for her crime, even though it could have had MASSIVE RAMIFICATIONS, from coast to coast.

  3. Semper Fi says:

    I guess I’m in the dark about this whole voter ID thing. There is no law that says you need to have identification, except for the obvious reasons like operating a motor vehicle, or flying. Even if you don’t have a DL you can get a state issued ID at the DMV. What is the purpose of showing an ID?

    1. stung4ever says:

      You have to have a photo ID to purchase a gun so you can exercise your second amendment rights.

      1. Ruth says:

        Guns can kill. An elderly lady without a photo ID has the right to vote. So what is the connection? There are other ways in use right now to make sure every person who votes is legit.

        1. Trust but verify says:

          Liberal agendas are way more dangerous than guns.

          1. llp says:

            Gee what happen in FL

        2. stung4ever says:

          If requiring photo ID potentially disenfranchises people from exercising their voting rights, does requiring photo ID to purchase a gun potentially disenfranchise people from exercising their second amendment rights?

          1. Balanced Beam says:

            Silly stung4ever. The DFL does not support Second Amendment rights. But the right to vote a bunch of times is fundamental. If you disagree, you are obviously racist, hate the elderly, and don’t support the troops.

            Then again, why aren’t they trying to eliminate photo IDs for all the other things for which one is required to have it?

        3. Ace says:

          I am elderly but do have a photo ID and so can every other elderly person have one. They just have to make the effort if it is important to them. Quit using the elderly as an excuse to promote your agenda

          1. Fred says:

            Amen, Ace!! Amen! Elderly people are plenty smart and capable…and, even if they weren’t, this new law will not hinder them anyway…it will actually make it easier for them to get other IDs.

            1. Brett says:

              BOTH of my parents are about 80, they have NO PROBLEM showing LEGITIMATE PHOTO IDS to VOTE. Neither one even graduated from high school. WHAT’S the PROBLEM??

        4. Fred says:

          No there are not other ways to verify if a person is legit. As it stands today, a person can walk into a voting building and a total stranger can “vouch” for that new person. No id, no utility bill. Nothing! This “vouching” is done thousands and thousands and thousands of time during each General Election. You would have to sue the person that is falsely vouching and THEN prove that they were lying…NEVER gonna happen. NEVER. MN is rampant with fraud. I have seen Election Judges admit that they allowed improper “vouching” to take place.

        5. Brett says:

          Votes can “kill” as well, if they go to a “killer”. Think about THAT for awhile before you try to respond with an “enlightened” response.

  4. Mother Jones says:

    military members have testified they would be left out due to the Voter ID law, as well as people who have a physical disablity that live in groups homes. That is enough for me to know that this bill is wrong. It was written by ALEC which is the the democratic way.
    Everyone who cares about Democracy should be contacting the State House and Senator and ask them do they support this constitutional amendment ? and if so, shame on them and that they will be voted out in the next election.
    Republicans have put at least 4 constitutinal amendments up for vote to be on the ballot. That is similar to California and we all know what mess they are in.

    Is that what you want for MN.. for it to be like CA. Shame on those who call for constitutional amendments.

    1. GroupHomeWorker says:

      Not that way at group homes. I have worked in the field for 21 years, and have taken many individuals to vote, any of them would have had an ID. A phyiscal disability does not mean that someone does not have a photo ID. Most medical offices require photo ID when checking in. A photo ID is a necessity for individuals living in group homes.

    2. Balanced Beam says:

      Yes. You and your 20% of the population that opposes this requirement can vote the rascals out. Good luck with that. Then again, if you each vote three times at different polling locations . . . .

    3. Fred says:

      This is false and a lie. Military will not be left out. Lies. lies

    4. Brett says:

      BS, mother jiokes. I have not heard of a SINGLE MILITARY MEMBER who feels that such a law would make their vote any more difficult, or LEGITIMATE. NOT ONE. Most, if not all, military members will jump through ANY administrative hoops to make sure that election INTEGRITY is upheld, even if it means that they have to lput forth more effort to support it.

      Don’t even TRY to lump the military into the “anti Voter ID” crowd. It will NEVER SELL, and damn you for even trying.

  5. Mother Jones says:

    and for the record.. Rep Tony Cornish.. there were cameras at the House as you guys were debating. I watched it on internet channel “The Uptake”. It was very enlighting to see how immature and foolish some of the comments made by the ALEC Republicans who keep supporting the vote for this amendment.
    You can still watch it on THe UPtake.

    1. Brett says:

      BLAH, BLAH, BLAH… 70-80 percent of ALL Minnesotans SUPPORT this amendment. the goofy gov should have signed the bill LAST YEAR. Now, you don’t even have a chance to have a uber-liberal, activist judge overturn it. BAD PLAY on your part. This is NOT a CLOSE CALL, by ANY MEANS.

  6. not quite says:

    This is the most common sensel action I’ve seen in a long time. If you don’t already have a free state issued id, you have no business voting. They need to make it tougher to vote not easier and this id suggestion doesn’t make it more difficult. At what point do we finally address the elephant in the room that voting democrat means voting for someone else to pay your way? I’m just sick of the narrative that being a victim and a person who is a drag on society is somehow the new norm.

  7. rog says:

    So why do we need this? We are not having voter fraud in significant numbers anyway. Time would be better spent in managing our other problems. This is a wast of time.

    1. Fred says:

      Yes, we do. You know nothing about all of the un-reported fraud that takes place. Ever heard of the “vouching” rule? Do you know what it means, eeeexactly, what it means? I do..and it prove that voter fraud in MN is rampant. Had ID’s been required in 2008 and 2010, Al Frankenstein and Mark whatDayisIT would not have been elected. DFL knows this fact, so they are against voter ID….it is the only reason they are against. DFL knows that these losers who commit the frauds would all vote DFL.

      1. Huh says:

        Again with the “unreported fraud” nonsense.

        I guess that’s why we need an unconstitutional ammendment, right?

      2. Brett says:

        I agree. I had a relative work as an election judge, the nonsense that he described to me made me want to PUKE. Most people who vote just go in, then go out, they don’t SEE what is going on around them, because they don’t think that it is any of “there business”.

      3. Matt says:

        your disrespect just shows how bias you are. You need to grow up Fred and start acting like an adult.

    2. Brett says:

      No, it’s not a ‘waste of time’. After the frankenstein robbery, this was LONG OVERDUE, and it didn’t just cost Minnesotans, it cost AMERICANS, from coast to COAST, due to the makeup of the US Senate. Are you really so dumb so as not to realize the ramifications of a SINGLE fraudulent election?? Seriously?

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  8. Thomas Gasser says:

    I just cannot understand how anyone can call this voter supression, ANYONE can go to a DMV and get a photo ID without involving driving, ANYONE!!

    It is simply ludicrous to call this measure biased, how is a system biased when it is equally enforced for EVERYONE.

    You have to love the media when they say this measure is divided down the middle by political parties and in the same breath they indicated it is supported by 70-80% of the general public, I happen to know the Republican/Democrat split in MInnesota is almost 50/50.

  9. KEVIN says:


  10. Larry says:

    Bottom line. Voter IDs favor republicans. Lazy free loaders too lazy to even get an ID vote for Dems who will continue to reward them just for voting them in office. The 90% of responsable people are sick of them.

    1. Fred says:

      Kevin and Larry above are 100% correct.

      1. Brett says:

        I second THAT, Fred.

  11. Rob Schwartrz says:

    Wait until lawsuits fly when someone is allowed to vote because of the wrong ID (military) and not registered in the district. Then, told to go to another district and that district no you need to go to the other district.

    You only need 33 of the percent of state to win Governor with this make it 25 percent. Why would anybody want to stuff the ballot is behind me in the first place. Like an elected official will do something for you if any don’t donate to their campaign. They don’t give a damn you just their party. I can think of many things people would rather do than vote. Now, we just have a another reason not to vote.

    I can’t wait until Election Day is a national holiday. Then, we all would have no excuses for not voting.

    1. Brett says:

      Oh yeah, RIGHT, Rob. Did you do any research on how may absentee MILITARY BALLOTS that got rejected in the last TWO election cycles???

      GUESS NOT.

  12. Eagan says:

    If this becomes an amendment, there will be lawsuits galore. It will end up in the courts for years. Just look at Texas, South Carolina, and Wisconsin who have passed similar voter ID legislation. The laws have been blocked in each of these state, and for good reason. What if you no longer look like your ID? What about absentee ballots? What about my mother-in-law in the nursing home (no ID, no way to leave. How does she get an ID? Using state money to send someone out to get her an ID? That’s not free). There are so many situations. The amendment language says “government-issued ID”, not “government-approved ID”. What exactly does that mean?

    1. Fred says:

      All of those challenges to those new Laws will FAIL. Why? Because US Supreme Court has already upheld Voter ID laws as being valid in the recent past. But, Barry (you call him Barack, but his friends call him Barry and he wants me to be his friend) knows that if he does a temporary block of these new laws in 2012, it will help him. These blocks are not legal blocks; Barry is using the Justice Dept to get re-elected. 100% true. Supreme Court will invalidate EACH and EVERY one of the current Justice Dept blocks. Guaranteed..because they already have in the past.

      1. Brett says:

        Keep it going, Fred, you are doing a GREAT JOB. The FRAUDS don’t have a SINGLE *SUBSTANTIAL* ARGUEMENT to counter you.

  13. Masturbating Liberal says:

    I am going to the “poles” this election. And if I see anyone not showing their id’s I will “Jump” up and throw my special “red/white/blue” glitter all over them. That will teach them to vote the right way.

  14. id says:

    Why should an elderly person buy an ID if there is a chance he/she might pass away next year anyway. What if somebody loses an ID.

    1. dan says:

      Are you serious? Thats like saying why should an elderly person be able to vote someone into office for 4 years when they might die before the end of the term?
      Most elderly people have an ID. You Liberals act like this is going to be a process like getting a Passport. We all have the right to know every voter is a legal and legitimate voter. Otherwise my vote is wasted by an illegal voter. Let the people decide in November. Liberals shouldnt worry as most people in MN are Democrat anyways.

  15. Richard in Minneapolis says:

    Why is citizenship so necessary? If the battle cry was “No taxation without representation!” shouldn’t we be requiring that people show a tax return instead?

    I have lived in two countries where resident aliens were allowed to vote at the local level – school boards, city councils, bond proposals, and it worked just fine.

    1. Brett says:

      EXACTLY WHAT is a “resident alien”? If they are NOT a citizen, why should they be allowed to VOTE?

      Paying taxes has NOTHING to do with being eligible to vote, just as not being BORN in the USA makes you eligible to be President. There are reasons and arguements that are WELL RECORDED to support such statements.

  16. Let's Be Real says:

    We are forgetting that when we add an amendment – it is not like a law that is easy for the legislators change when they find out what does not work.

    People who will be denied the right to vote will include those who have a wallet/ID stolen-lost within a few weeks of the election – it takes longer than that to get a new ID. Also those who could have their ID destroyed near an election time thru accidents or tragedies such as fires. You may think these are rare events – but if it’s you being denied the right to vote because of crime, you will not be very happy. I don’t hear of any such considerations being included in this amendment – because picture ID’s are so easy?? And they want to ignore the computerized option from Mark Ritchie!!!!

    1. Brett says:

      Oh, yeah, let’s “get real”. In the next 10 months, the majority of voting citizens will have their purses/wallets stolen, their identities stolen, and eternal chaos will happen. LOL.

      FACT: Ritchie has NO OPTION. It doesn’t even make sense to ANY intelligent person. It’s all PR, ZERO substance.

  17. maggie says:

    What is wrong with a law that makes so much sense.??? Why do I need an ID to buy alcohol ??? Why do I need to show an ID at Mills Fleet to buy amunition when I have gray hair and am going bald.

  18. Gdon221 says:

    Voting in the US is a privilege provided by the constitution to US citizens. Prove your citizenship, and you can vote. That simple. I don’t want any outsiders – black, white, other deciding any future legislation that impacts me. This doesn’t intend to disenfranchise anyone accept those that don’t belong here, or are too lazy to get a formal ID that proves citizenship. It’s the right thing to do . . . period.