MN Voters Discuss Proposed Photo ID Amendment

By KBJR News 1

October 15, 2012 Updated Oct 24, 2013 at 3:47 AM CDT

Cloquet, MN (Northland’s NewsCenter) --- In November, Minnesotans will be asked to decide whether all voters should be required to show a government issued identification at the polls before casting their ballots.

Voters gathered to discuss both sides of proposed constitutional amendment at the Fond du Lac Community College.

If the amendment passes, voters without a proper identification would cast provisional ballots.

Their votes would be counted only after identification has been verified.

A spokesperson from Voter ID for Minnesota urged people to vote yes on the amendment, arguing it's a matter of election integrity, that photo ID is needed to modernize the election system and prevent voter fraud.

"It's about honest election, making sure every legitimate ballot is counted, and making sure peoples vote is not disenfranchised because of voter fraud," Nick Minock said.

But voters will be disenfranchised if the amendment is passed, according to Gay Trachsel of the Duluth League of Women Voters.

She believes the legislation will place barriers on seniors, student's, veterans and people living in rural areas.

"There's going to be provisional ballots that will have to be created, that's a whole new process, we've never had that, we don't' know how it's going to impact absentee voting, same day registration," Trachsel said.

Constitutional amendments must be passed by a majority of all of the voters who vote on Election Day.

If you choose to skip the amendment question on your ballot it will be counted as a No Vote.

"If you get the ballot and register and turn in a blank ballot, and let’s say just vote for the presidency and maybe the senate race, your blank vote will count as a no,” Jonah Braxton-Brown, a History and Political Science Professor said.

The actual language of the amendment will not be printed on the ballot.

Both supporters and those opposed to the amendment say it's important each voter understand what they are voting for.

"I haven't necessarily made up my mind, so this is a good thing to attend, because it's actually helping me to try and make up my mind on these issues," Michael Treasure, Communication Director of Student Senate said.

Voters also discussed both sides of the proposed constitutional marriage amendment that aims to define marriage as between one man and one woman.

Tuesday is the last day for Minnesotans to pre-register to vote.

You may still Register to vote on election day at the polls.

Jennifer Walch
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