Voter ID proposals in the Minnesota House and Senate appear to be only one step away from reaching the floor in both chambers. With little discussion Tuesday evening, the House Ways and Means Committee passed Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer’s version on an 18-12 party-line vote. The former secretary of state was one author of last session’s Voter ID bill that Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed. This year, she’s proposing a constitutional amendment, which would require voters to show a photo ID at the poll. The measure, which has been waylaid in Ways and Means since last year, breezed through its first committee hearing of this session last week.
“It’s very exciting to be back where I was at … the end of last year,” Kiffmeyer said after Tuesday’s hearing. “It’s like, ‘Wow, gee, you know, I got back to where I started,’ or something like that. So for me, it’s kind of exciting to get out of Ways and Means.”
Both Kiffmeyer and Sen. Scott Newman, the amendment’s Senate author, say the proposal is necessary to maintain Minnesota’s election integrity. The constitutional amendment approach bypasses the governor and would go directly on the November general election ballot for approval. “I sincerely believe it’s going to go to the floor and, I would think, probably sooner rather than later,” Newman said on Tuesday. “Week, two weeks something like that.” The House and Senate bills each face one more committee.