OPINION: I support voter identification amendment proposal
Tuesday, April 10, 2012 6:18 AM
Minnesotans who have long wanted to strengthen the integrity of our voting process will have their chance to make their voice heard this November.
Both the Minnesota House and Senate have approved a bill that would ask Minnesotans to decide whether or not photo identification should be required prior to casting a ballot on Election Day.
State Representative Greg Davids (R-Preston) helped approved the measure.
"There is evidence of voter fraud in Minnesota and more blatant examples happening in other states," Davids said.
"Who can forget the ACORN nonsense from a few years ago, where several of its officials were convicted of election fraud? These sorts of shenanigans taint the process and cast doubt on election outcomes.
"Requiring photo identification at the polls ensures that only legal Minnesotans are voting, and they're only voting once."
If Minnesotans approve the photo identification amendment this November, voters will be asked in future elections to verify their identity at the time of voting by presenting a photo ID.
If an eligible voter does not have a photo ID, the state will provide one at no charge.
If an eligible voter does not have a photo ID on Election Day, they will be able to cast a provisional ballot. A driver's license, state ID card, military ID and tribal ID card are all acceptable.
Davids noted that dozens of other states require identification at the polls, and the U.S. Supreme Court has previously upheld Indiana's law.
"This isn't a requirement that's designed to keep people away from the polls," Davids said. "In actuality, studies have shown that states with a photo ID requirement have actually had turnout increase."
"Governor Dayton often says elections have consequences - and he's right," Davids continued.
"With each election cycle seeming to have a close race for a statewide or federal office, we need to make sure that only eligible Minnesota voters are deciding these elections, and photo identification would ensure that."