A bill that would ask Minnesotans whether to amend the state constitution to require voters to present a photo ID at the polls cleared its first hurdle at the Capitol on Wednesday. All eight Republicans on the Local Government and Elections Committee voted for the bill; all six Democrats voted against it. The bill heads next to the State Government Innovation and Veterans Committee. Eight other states have such legislation. Proponents say it’s a way to safeguard the integrity of the electoral system and reduce fraud, but critics argue it’s unneeded and will make it harder for the elderly, college students, the disabled and others to vote.
Bill sponsor Scott Newman, R-Hutchinson, said that the state’s voting system needs to be modernized and that increased integrity will encourage turnout. “I do think we have voter fraud in Minnesota,” Newman said.
But Democratic Sen. John Harrington, former police chief in St. Paul, said after the hearing that the measure is “a constitutional amendment in search of a problem that really doesn’t exist.” He cited data from Ramsey County in 2008 showing the vast majority of the roughly 1,500 cases of reported electoral fraud involved felons voting, a problem that won’t be resolved with a voter ID requirement.
Full Article: Voter ID issue advances in Minnesota Senate – TwinCities.com.