Minnesota voters would be required to show photo identification at the polls under a Republican bill the Senate passed Thursday on a party-line vote. But the photo ID bill — the subject of fierce partisan debates for the past five years — is unlikely to become law.
Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton last week said he, like Republican Gov. Tim Pawlenty and Independence Party Gov. Jesse Ventura before him, would not sign any election-reform bill that doesn’t have bipartisan support. Democrats don’t support the photo ID legislation.
Republicans, however, may try an end run around Dayton. Earlier this week, Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, proposed sending the photo ID issue directly to voters as a constitutional amendment on the 2012 ballot.
Dayton couldn’t block that tactic. A simple majority of the Legislature can send a proposed amendment to voters without the governor’s approval.