(OPINION) Simon, Winkler: Voter ID Will Dismantle Election System

The Minnesota House passed the Voter ID conference committee report shortly after midnight.


(The following news release comes from House DFL staff.)


Shortly after midnight, the Minnesota House of Representatives passed the conference committee report on HF 2738, the Voter ID constitutional amendment. The conference committee report is the most extreme version of the constitutional amendment to date. The conference committee added the word “identity” to the following language: “All voters, including those not voting in person, must be subject to substantially equivalent identity and eligibility verification prior to a ballot being cast or counted.” According to the Secretary of State’s office, this could effectively eliminate absentee voting by mail, and voting by overseas military members.

Rep. Steve Simon (DFL – St. Louis Park) says that the Voter ID constitutional amendment is much greater in scope that proponents have claimed.

“The amendment isn’t just about needing an ID to vote,” said Rep. Simon. “This is a radical overhaul of our entire election system. This constitutional amendment could fence out hundreds of thousands of law-abiding citizens, threaten absentee balloting and same-day registration, and have Minnesota join Mississippi as the only state with this measure in the constitution.

“We’re writing in permanent ink and tying the hands of future legislators and legislatures.”

Rep. Ryan Winkler (DFL – Golden Valley) adds that the amendment will dismantle Minnesota’s time-tested and nation-leading election system built on past bipartisan reforms.

“The Voter ID constitutional amendment will create chaos and take Minnesota from having a nation-leading election system to the bottom of the pack,” said Rep. Winkler. “Lawsuits will come from both sides and future partisan gridlock will derail any attempts at implementation, leaving our voters lost. This amendment won’t even protect Minnesota from the voter fraud proponents claim is the reason for this measure.

“Just a couple days ago, Speaker Zellers crowed about his caucus’s accomplishments and laser focus on jobs, but once again, Republicans have passed another constitutional amendment.

“It’s clear that the only voter fraud here is when Republicans told voters in the last election that they would focus on jobs.”


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