If Minnesota voters approve a constitutional amendment that would require voters to present photo identification at the polls, state lawmakers will still have to sort out many of the details needed to implement the new election system. The push for a voter ID requirement has been a deeply partisan battle, so much so that — if the amendment passes — many of the specifics in next year’s legislation could hinge on which party wins control of the House and Senate. The proposed amendment requires all in-person voters to show a “valid government-issued” photo ID before receiving a ballot. It also requires the state to provide free identification. Not yet known is which IDs will be considered valid, how the state will distribute the free ones and how much that will cost.
“If I’m back next year, I certainly would hope that I would be involved in the legislation that will be necessary to implement the constitutional amendment,” said state Sen. Scott Newman, R-Hutchinson, a chief author of the amendment bill. Newman said he wants to help shape the final product. But as voters prepare to go to the polls on Nov. 6, he doesn’t want anyone trying to fill in the blanks with what he believes are falsehoods about the amendment. Newman has been especially critical of Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and other Democrats who say that the amendment will be overly expensive, could end same-day registration and would make it harder for soldiers to vote. “That has never been our intention,” Newman said. “That is not going to happen.”