A proposed constitutional amendment to require Minnesotans to show photo identification in order to vote is facing a rough road at the State Capitol. Amendment opponents packed a Senate hearing on the measure Wednesday and dozens took turns to criticize the bill, providing most of the five hours of testimony. Republicans on the Committee on Local Government and Elections appear supportive of the bill, and they have the votes to advance it. The panel recessed without taking action or saying when the debate would resume.
Ilo Madden, a retired minister from St. Louis Park, said she doesn’t want her right to vote jeopardized. Madden told lawmakers that obtaining an ID is already difficult for many senior citizens. “Today, I live on my own in an apartment. But tomorrow I could be living in a nursing home. We never know,” Madden said. “If I was in a nursing home, I’d have to go through the whole process of getting an ID once again. I didn’t think I could do it physically.”
University of Minnesota student Sydney Jordan doesn’t have an ID reflecting her current address. She believes the requirement will deter many college students from voting. “We should not live in a state where it is easier for a young adult to purchase cigarettes and alcohol than it is to vote,” Jordan said.