Skip to main content
Updated:
Original:

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.
Author:

In a shocking upset, the voter ID amendment has failed, and by a sizable margin, MPR reports. With 98.6 percent of the vote counted, 53.8 percent had voted "no" and 46.2 voted yes, MPR says.

It was a surprising turn-around: Through much of the campaign season, polls suggested the amendment would pass.

But amendment supporters knew as midnight approached Tuesday that it did not look good for the amendment. They were taking down signs and cleaning up after a gathering at O'Gara's tavern in St. Paul shortly before midnight, MPR reported.

"There aren't enough votes there to turn it around," Dan McGrath of Protect My Vote told MPR. The leader of the pro-amendment campaign vowed to push for a voter ID law in the Legislature.

At issue was the ballot measure that asked voters if the state should create a constitutional amendment that would require voters to bring a photo identification to the polls.

The Republican-backed proposal was part of a national push by Republicans to tighten up voting systems at the state level, the Star Tribune notes. The Minnesota battle was completely partisan – Republican state lawmakers supported it and DFLers opposed it.

Throughout the campaign season, polls showed that the voter ID amendment had the support of a majority of Minnesotans, although polls just a few days before the election showed it could be very close.

Supporters of the amendment said it was needed to prevent fraud and protect the integrity of voting in Minnesota.

Critics said the amendment is an expensive answer to a problem that doesn't exist, given that there have been no cases of people being prosecuted in Minnesota for voter impersonation or double voting. Cost estimates for the amendment range from $1 million to $50 million. Critics also say the amendment was a cynical play by a Republican legislature to lower Democratic voter turnout. That's because 84,000 people are registered to vote but have no ID, and more of them are left-leaning: elderly, college students, and the poor. Critics have also said the issue should be handled in state law because ID technology is rapidly changing, and laws are much easier to update than the constitution.

Whether voter fraud is a myth or real problem is complicated question.

The Legislature would have to sort out the details on how photo ID will work. Among the questions: What kind of ID will be accepted? What happens if voters don’t have one? How much it would cost and who pays?

Next Up

Target store

Target unveils deals for 2-day 'Cyber Monday' event

The promotion kicks off Sunday, November 28.

Screen Shot 2021-11-27 at 9.59.30 AM

Edina police warn of recent burglary trend targeting garages and vehicles

The Edina Police Department is increasing patrols in affected neighborhoods in response to the trend.

Screen Shot 2021-11-27 at 9.03.06 AM

Charges: Man shot Uber Eats driver making a delivery in Cottage Grove

Otis Donnell Shipp was charged with second-degree attempted murder after turning himself in on Wednesday.

Screen Shot 2021-11-27 at 7.36.14 AM

Waterfront hotel in Duluth sustains damage in kitchen fire

Authorities estimate the damage at around $75,000.

Screen Shot 2021-11-27 at 7.15.18 AM

Large groups of thieves target 2 Twin Cities Best Buys on Black Friday

It bears similarities to the flash-mob style thefts seen recently in California.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Timberwolves' winning streak snapped at five games

The Wolves' bid for their longest winning streak since 2014 came up short.

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 6.45.53 PM

Teen arrested over fatal shooting of 5-year-old boy in Brooklyn Park

Police say the teen was filming a social media video while handling a gun.

Joe Biden

President Biden coming to Minnesota to promote Bipartisan Infrastructure Law

Tuesday's trip follows passage of the $1.2 trillion Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal.

Kirill Kaprizov

Kaprizov gets into the holiday spirit to rout Jets

Kirill Kaprizov's four points led the Wild to a 7-1 victory.

Kirk Cousins

Coller: Cure to Vikings' disrupted season lies in an explosive passing game

The Vikings go to San Francisco knowing that a win would be a huge boost to their playoff hopes.

Related

Plenty of questions to be answered if Voter ID amendment passes

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.

Voter ID amendment headed for November ballot

Minnesotans will vote this fall on a Constitutional amendment that would make a photo ID a requirement to vote. The Republican-backed measure passed the Legislature on party-line votes. Now supporters and critics of the change will ramp up campaigns to influence the public.

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.

ACLU leads challenge to voter ID amendment

The Minnesota Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday afternoon in a lawsuit aimed at keeping the voter ID constitutional amendment off of the statewide ballot. The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, League of Women Voters Minnesota and other anti-amendment groups are asking the court to strike down the ballot question. They claim its wording is too vague and misleading.

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.

Polls find dead heat in Marriage Amendment, edge for Voter ID support

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.

Critics of Voter ID amendment to court: Legislature is misleading voters

Groups that are challenging the proposed Constitutional amendment that would require an ID to vote filed paperwork with the Minnesota Supreme Court in advance of the hearing later this month. They say if the court approves the ballot question as is, it will send the message that the Legislature is free to mislead or deceive voters.

Voter ID amendment clears first hurdle in state Senate

The Senate Local Government and Elections Committee passed the voter ID bill on a party-line vote, with DFLers opposing it. The measure has several more stops before it would appear on the November ballot as a proposed Constitutional amendment.