In a heated, six-plus hour session, the full Minnesota House of Representatives debated the bill that would put a voter ID amendment to vote on the November ballot. The amendment would require all voters to present a government-issued photo ID at their polling place and would take effect if a majority of citizens voted in favor of the amendment in November. On the November ballot, voters will be asked, “Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to require all voters to present valid photo identification on election day and that the state provide free identification to eligible voters?” If voters approve the measure in November, the next Legislature would be required to pass legislation explaining how the state would carry out fulfilling the photo identification requirement.
The controversial amendment has been subject to much debate since its introduction and dissent over the bill has been based on party lines. On Monday, the House Rules and Legislative Administration Committee approved sending the bill to the House floor after a 13-10 party-line vote, with all DFLers voting against it.
Republican legislators have argued the amendment is necessary and appropriate because citizens use identification for things ranging from shopping to getting married. During the floor session, DFLers accused the Republican party of taking “political preferences” and inserting them into the constitution.