Republicans in the Minnesota legislature have been trying to enact a photo ID requirement to deter voter fraud, but all such efforts have been blocked by the Democrats. With Republicans having taken control over both the Minnesota House and the Minnesota Senate this month, one of the first orders of business is to begin plugging the holes in Minnesota’s election system.
Today, Republican legislators introduced a bill to require voters to present identification:
Republican state lawmakers introduced legislation Wednesday that would transform Minnesota’s election laws by requiring voters to present photo identification to vote and putting high-tech verification tools in nearly every precinct. …
Voters currently do not need to present identification to vote if they have already registered. The bill would require voters to present a drivers license or other approved photo ID, which would be verified through an electronic system.
“The integrity of our entire election process hinges on two critical issues,” said Sen. Warren Limmer, a bill sponsor. “A photo identification…would satisfy and verify that the individual casting the vote is the person that they in fact are claiming to be. And the second is to verify that the individual is voting in the precinct where they belong.”
Democrats naturally opposed the legislation:
Democrats responded that the proposed changes seek to block out voters who typically vote DFL and are overly costly to the state.
It is unclear why any legitimate voters would be “blocked out,” since the state will make identification available for free to anyone who does not have a driver’s license or other form of identification. The Democrats are correct, however, that those who would prefer not to have to present identification “typically vote DFL.”
Presumably the legislation will pass the Republican-controlled legislature easily; the question is whether Governor Mark Dayton, a Democrat, will veto it. He almost has to, in order to preserve his party’s electoral strategy; but at a considerable cost, since polls indicate that something like 85 percent of Minnesotans favor requiring voter ID.