The purpose of this amendment is to protect the election from voter fraud by requiring people to show photo ID when they vote. Voter fraud has not been a huge problem in past elections–most of the cases are from people sending in fraudulent absentee ballots.
One of my problems with this amendment is that I just don’t think it’s ready to be voted on. The language is vague and the goals are obscure. Worse yet, the government would be required to provide said photo ID to citizens “at no cost to them.” The problem with giving out free IDs, or free anything for that matter, is that nothing is free. The cost of the free IDs will be passed along to taxpayers resulting in, you guessed it, higher taxes. Furthermore, it’s difficult to tell whether or not absentee voting will be eliminated. This means that all those college students away from home, among loads more in various situations (assisted living, combat, etc.) can’t vote. That would be denying citizens their right to vote, would it not? That’s not constitutional.
I believe this is further unnecessary and costly regulation aimed at thwarting an issue that, while perhaps exists, is, at most, a minor issue. And although the issue is small, its “solution” would cost taxpayers millions of dollars. Thus, I will be voting NO on this amendment.
Here is the information regarding this amendment.
H.F. No. 1597, as introduced – 87th Legislative Session (2011-2012) Posted on Apr 27, 2011
1.2 proposing an amendment to the Minnesota Constitution, article VII, section 1;
1.3 requiring voters to present photographic identification; providing photographic
1.4 identification to voters at no charge; requiring equal verification standards for
1.5 all voters.
1.6 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:
1.7 Section 1. CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT PROPOSED.
1.8 An amendment to the Minnesota Constitution is proposed to the people. If the
1.9 amendment is adopted, article VII, section 1, will read:
1.1 0Section 1. Every person 18 years of age or more who has been a citizen of the United
1.11 States for three months
and; who has resided in the precinct for 30 days next preceding an
1.12 election; who presents valid photographic identification as prescribed by law; and whose
1.13 eligibility to vote has been established under this section shall be entitled to vote in that
1.14 precinct. All voters must be subject to identical standards of eligibility verification before
1.15 voting and the state must make photographic identification available to eligible voters at
1.16 no cost to them. The place of voting by one otherwise qualified who has changed his
1.17 residence within 30 days preceding the election shall be prescribed by law. The following
1.18 persons shall not be entitled or permitted to vote at any election in this state: A person not
1.19 meeting the above requirements; a person who has been convicted of treason or felony,
1.20 unless restored to civil rights; a person under guardianship, or a person who is insane or
1.21 not mentally competent.
1.22 Sec. 2. SUBMISSION TO VOTERS.
2.1 The proposed amendment must be submitted to the people at the 2012 general
2.2 election. The question submitted must be:
2.3 “Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to require that all voters present an
2.4 approved form of photographic identification prior to voting; all voters be subject to
2.5 identical eligibility verification standards regardless of the time of their registration; and
2.6 the state provide at no charge an approved photographic identification to eligible voters?