On Tuesday, Minnesota voters defeated a ballot initiative that would have amended the state constitution to require voters to present a photo ID at the polls in order to be able to vote. This was the latest in a string of pushback victories for voting rights, and the final verdict was squarely in the hands of voters. As recently as five months ago, the amendment appeared positioned for easy passage. Public Policy Polling’s first survey in June asking voters if they supported or opposed a constitutional amendment requiring voter ID, 58 percent supported the amendment and only 34 percent opposed it.
When asked again in September, support for the amendment had only eroded by two percent, while the numbers standing in opposition were beginning to grow — to 39 percent in September, and then to 43 percent in October. While the gap was narrowing, it appeared passage was still imminent.
But the poll results released just days before the election showed a complete reversal.
Fifty-one percent of voters opposed the amendment, with only 46 percent still in favor of it. This was strikingly close to the final election result, which left the amendment defeated at a tally of 52 percent to 46 percent.