Vote ‘no’ or lose yours

The voter ID amendment leaves too many questions unanswered that could harm our democracy.

Editorial board

Next Tuesday, Minnesotans will be asked whether the state constitution should be amended to require that all voters present valid photo identification at the polls.

For many, it will be easy to say ‘yes’ to this question because they’ve never encountered difficulty proving who they are and their eligibility to vote.

Proponents of the voter ID amendment say it’s a “common sense” measure that will curb the virtually non-existent voter fraud and add integrity to Minnesota’s election process. But the value added by supporting this amendment does not offset the potential costs to citizens who would find it more difficult to participate in the electoral process, including many college students.

Because college students are a more transient population that change addresses frequently, traditional forms of identification might not be up-to-date and won’t count as valid before the election.

While the amendment would require the state to provide free identification, it still has to be decided what type of identification this would be and how easy it would be to acquire it.

The type of identification is just one question left unanswered by the voter ID ballot question. It will be up to the next state Legislature to determine the framework for implementing the voter ID provision if it passes.

For the Minnesota Daily Editorial Board, there are too many unanswered questions and too many students and other voters at stake to vote yes on this amendment.

Even if it seems like “common sense” to present a photo ID on Election Day, vote no to the voter ID amendment — if not to protect your right to vote, to protect the right of others who might not find it as easy under this measure.