It’s nearly certain that Minnesotans will decide this November whether they want to change the state’s Constitution to require voters to show photo identification at the polls. The Legislature is nearing final approval of the proposed voter ID amendment, which would place the question on the November ballot. What’s less certain is how a voter ID law would play out in future elections in Minnesota. By design, the wording of the constitutional amendment is sparse on details; if approved by the voters, lawmakers wouldn’t lay out exactly how the new system would work until the 2013 legislative session. In the meantime, election officials, voters and advocates on both sides of the issue are scratching their heads over what the proposed voter ID requirement will mean for Minnesota’s future elections.
“No one is exactly sure how this will affect the operation of the elections, should the amendment be adopted by the public,” said Ramsey County Elections Manager Joe Mansky. A look at how other states have implemented and enforced similar voting requirements paints a picture of what Minnesotans can expect from a new ID requirement.