A House committee approved a bill Thursday that would require people to show a photo ID before they can vote, and with Republicans in control in the Legislature, the bill has a stronger chance of passing than in years past.
Despite Republicans in the Minnesota House and Senate looking at significant spending cuts to erase the state’s $5 billion projected budget deficit, the voter ID bill appears to be one area where they’re willing to spend more money.
A fiscal analysis says it will cost the state roughly $5 million over the next two years. Democrats say that’s too expensive as lawmakers grapple with a $5 billion projected budget deficit. They also say local elections officials would be forced to spend millions more to implement the new system.
The bill has been debated at the State Capitol for years, but Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, former Secretary of State, said the bill is needed to ensure the integrity of the voting system.