Voter ID passes House, headed to Senate

by Kyle Potter

A bill that would require all voters to present photo identification at polling places across Minnesota passed through the state House of Representatives Thursday evening, and may soon be headed to Gov. Mark Dayton’s desk.

The voter ID bill passed the House in a 73-59 vote largely along party lines, and will be headed to the Senate for approval. The Senate passed a different version of the bill in late April.

All but two Democrats in the House voted against the bill, while every Republican voted in favor, according to Minnesota Public Radio’s votetracker.

Supporters of the bill maintain the requirement would protect against voter fraud and ensure integrity in elections, while opponents say it is a “poll tax” that would disenfranchise voters.

The bill includes a provision that would allow those without identification to cast a vote that would be counted if they can produce identification within seven days of the election.

Though Dayton has neither advocated for nor promised a veto of the bill, his  response to the proposal has been lukewarm. He told the Star Tribune the issue of voter fraud “has been a greatly exaggerated phenomenon by those who are dissatisfied with the political results of the last two elections in Minnesota.”

“I think [the voter identification proposal] is largely a solution in search of a problem,” Dayton said.

The bill’s author in the House, Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, announced in April a constitutional amendment that would require voter ID was in the works.