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

Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka announced the push Friday.
Author:
Publish date:

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. 

Next Up

Related

Republican panel clears way for voter ID amendment

An all-Republican group drafted and passed a controversial bill that brings together the House and Senate proposals. The compromise plan now returns to the Legislature for a full and final vote, which would officially put it on the November ballot for voters to decide. The issue is highly partisan. It has been a key goal of the Republican majority but hasn't attracted any support from Democrats.

Voter ID headed to House floor

The measure advanced through a House committee on a party-line vote Monday. If the House and Senate pass the proposal, then voters in the November election will decide whether to amend the state constitution to require that all would-be voters present a photo ID before they cast a ballot.

Voter ID amendment advances at Capitol

Proposals for a constitutional amendment requiring photo IDs at polls are just a step away from reaching the House and Senate floors, MinnPost reports. Constitutional amendments, if approved by the Legislature, go straight to voters. They do not require Gov. Dayton's signature, so he cannot veto them.

Voter ID bill gets final approval from House

A final vote in the Senate awaits. The bill would ask voters in November whether to amend the state's constitution to require voters present a valid photo ID before they participate in an election.

Stunner: Voter ID amendment fails

In a shocking upset, the voter ID amendment has failed, and by a sizable margin. With 98 percent of precincts reporting, the "no" votes led by nearly 8 percentage points, MPR says. The measure would have amended the state constitution to require voters to bring photo IDs to the polls.

Republicans introduce bill to implement voter ID through amendment

A group of Republican senators have introduced a bill that would have voters decide a controversial election reform measure this fall. Introducing a voter ID requirement as an amendment to the state constitution means the measure would bypass a threatened veto from Democratic Gov. Dayton.