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Despite 2012 failure, MN Republicans to try again for Voter ID

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka announced the push Friday.

Under Minnesota law, you don't need to bring your ID with you when you vote, but state senate Republicans are hoping to change that.

On Friday, Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka (R-Nisswa) released a video statement declaring that a Voter ID law would be a "high priority for Republicans in the Senate":

Gazelka says it's something "the people of Minnesota want us to do."

In the video, he also acknowledges a failed attempt "a few years ago" to bring voter ID laws to Minnesota, saying "I don't think it was clear in people's minds what actually we were trying to do, but we simply want to say you have to show your ID to vote."

He's referring to the Minnesota Voter Identification Amendment of 2012, which put the matter into the hands of voters to decide.

It, along with a proposed amendment to ban same-sex marriage, was defeated at the ballot.

Gazelka says the new push is simply about ensuring a legitimate vote, as "people want to know that the elections are secure."

No specifics on the proposal have been released yet, but expect updates relatively soon, as Minnesota's 2020 legislative session will begin on Feb. 11. 

Voter ID laws — which often require photo identification, such as a driver's license — are controversial because of concerns over potential unfairness to lower-income Americans, with opponents saying that obtaining such IDs can be "costly and burdensome."

The Washington Post has a piece on the hardships some voters face in securing personal identification cards. 

If you're interested in learning more about voter ID requirements, you can see state-by-state laws and other information at the National Conference of State Legislatures. 

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