Secretary of State Proposes Voter ID Alternative

By KBJR News 1

March 1, 2012 Updated Mar 1, 2012 at 10:40 PM CDT

St. Paul, MN (Northland's NewsCenter) -- An alternative to the Voter ID bill is making its way through Minnesota's Legislature.

The proposed bi–partisan legislation would incorporate "electronic poll books." Polling officials would be able to verify a voter's identification by looking up their picture in a data base on a computer.

It's a technology that Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has advocated for as a less–expensive alternative to requiring a state–issued ID card

"Here's the good news. It's very inexpensive compared to the systems of producing photo identification but it also avoids the problem of disenfranchising."

Ritchie says the Voter ID bill would act as a deterrent for some voters who might not have a state issued ID.

He says the "electronic poll book" is a good compromise.

If Republicans pass their original voter ID bill, voters will decide on the November ballot whether to pass the bill into law in the form of a constitutional amendment.