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Is voter fraud a serious problem, or myth?

The Star Tribune examines the issue of voter fraud in Minnesota, where state residents are poised to decide on a ballot measure that would require voters to bring a photo ID to the polls. The campaigns on both sides of the issue sharply disagree on whether fraud is a problem that requires a constitutional amendment to fix it.
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The Star Tribune examines the issue of voter fraud in Minnesota, where state residents are poised to decide on a ballot measure that would require voters to bring a photo ID to the polls. The campaigns on both sides of the issue sharply disagree on whether fraud is a problem that requires a constitutional amendment to fix it.

Meanwhile, a Star Tribune poll shows that voters are poised to approve the voter ID measure.

The issue recently was hotly debated by high-profile advocates and opponents of the measure in Rochester.

The state's major newspaper editorial boards have had their say. In an editorial over the weekend, the St. Paul Pioneer Press argues that the voter ID measure would "tighten up" a loose system. The Star Tribune urged a "no" vote, arguing that it is too costly and unnecessary.

Wondering how other states have dealt with this? The National Conference of State Legislatures has a useful map that boils it down.

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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.

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The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota is offering a $1,000 reward to anyone who can find a case of voter impersonation in the state during the last ten years. The group opposes the effort to put a voter ID requirement on Minnesota's ballot. Backers of the idea say it will reduce voter fraud. But the ACLU argues fraud is not a problem here.

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Two new Minnesota Polls by the Star Tribune find a statistical dead head in the constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, but a slight edge for support of a constitutional change that would require voters to show a government-issued photo ID.

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Estimates of how much it will cost to implement a voter ID requirement at Minnesota polling places range from a few million dollars to $100 million. The cost is among many details that state lawmakers will need to fill in if residents approve a Constitutional amendment requiring a government-issued ID to vote.

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Minnesota's reputation as a squeaky-clean state is under attack. The Minnesota Majority, a conservative group that has campaigned for a strict photo ID requirement, put up a billboard near Elk River that says Minnesota is "number one" in voting fraud. Meanwhile, groups on both sides of the issue are plotting strategy in the run-up to the vote.

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Former 8th District Congressman Jim Oberstar spoke out against the proposed amendment that would make a government-issued ID mandatory before casting a ballot in Minnesota at a rally in Duluth Saturday. WDIO reports that the longtime DFL representative is concerned the measure could hurt Minnesota's voting record. "It will take Minnesota from first in the nation in voter turnout and clean elections, to worst in the nation," Oberstar said. However, supporters of the amendment argue it's needed to prevent voter fraud.

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