The conduct surrounding the proposed Voter ID amendment has been shameful. It has passed through three Senate committees with limited testimony and wholly along party lines. If the Voter ID amendment was something that would truly benefit Minnesota elections, wouldn't all political sides come out in support of the measure? Wouldn't the Secretary of State, the person who is in charge of making sure the elections run smoothly, embrace a system that seems to make his job easier? The truth of the matter is that requiring a photo ID for voting is a partisan issue and one that will make it harder for over 700,000 citizens of Minnesota.
There are real flaws with this constitutional amendment, and most stem from the vague yet binding wording of this amendment. One major concern is that Minnesota voters will not even know what is considered valid identification under this legislation. To this, and other concerns, proponents consistently retort that it would be decided in the next legislative session. Why should Minnesota voters place this amendment into the Constitution when they do not even know what they are voting on?
It has become obvious that the proponents of this amendment in the Minnesota Legislature are not listening to those who would be directly affected by this, including students, members of our military, the elderly, and the disabled. The figures of those who would be directly affected by the proposed amendment have been stated over and over in the media, but seem to fall on deaf ears in committee. The proponents seem more interested in steamrolling this partisan legislation than considering the reasonable questions of concerned constituents.
MPIRG still feels Voter ID is not a solution to any real problem and hopes that Minnesota will stand up in defense of our strong election integrity as it exists, today.
Written by Mitch Menigo