Rep. Ryan Winkler (DFL-Golden Valley) Tuesday challenged Republican representatives’ plan to put a constitutional amendment requiring voter photo identification on the ballot after Gov. Mark Dayton vetoed the measure.
“Older women, students, the disabled, battered women are just a few of the groups that would be harmed by the constitutional amendment that Republicans are proposing today,” Winkler said at a news conference Tuesday.
Winkler said Republicans argued they are trying to stop voter fraud, but that voter fraud is not an issue in Minnesota. He also said requiring a photo ID would not prevent felons from voting.
“It’s important to remember that voting is a fundamental right,” Winkler said. “And any time that you want to do anything that’s going to interfere with a fundamental right, you have to be very sure that there’s a problem that you’re going to solve.”
But many Minnesotans disagree with Winkler’s position. A SurveyUSA poll published last month showed the proposal has overwhelming support in the state. Of those polled, 76 percent said they would vote for the amendment and only 18 percent would not.
Winkler said the proposal would be putting a “limitation on civil rights into the Constitution.”
The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota came out against the proposed bill last month, saying it would create barriers for some voters and mean additional costs and burdens to election officials.