Photo ID constitutional amendment bill passes the House

PHOTO ID CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT BILL PASSES THE HOUSE

St. Paul – The Minnesota House of Representatives today passed the photo ID constitutional amendment bill on a vote of 72-62. The bill, House File 2738, allows for a public vote in the November election on a photo ID voting requirement.

Under the bill, a ballot question would ask if voters would like to add an amendment to the Minnesota Constitution that would require that, on Election Day, all voters present valid photo identification prior to casting a ballot. A majority vote of the people would amend the constitution, and the Legislature would implement the new photo ID requirement in 2013. This amendment would also require state identification be made available at no charge to those who do not already have an ID.

The amendment preserves the ability of all eligible Minnesotans, including military members, college students, and the elderly, to continue voting with ease. It also keeps in place same day voter registration and absentee voting. Representative Mary Kiffmeyer (R-Big Lake), the chief author of the bill, testified on the House floor on behalf of her bill.

“I think it is fitting that this measure be given approval by our voting public,” said Representative Kiffmeyer. “Polls are showing overwhelming public support for a photo ID voting requirement; and this will finally put that decision where it belongs, in the hands of the Minnesota voters. This measure will add some much needed integrity to our voter registration system.”

Speaker of the House Kurt Zellers (R-Maple Grove) added “Minnesotans deserve to know their vote counts. Photo ID is a simple, common sense measure that protects the integrity of our elections and instills greater confidence in the process.”

House File 2738 must be approved by the Minnesota Senate before it will appear on the ballot this November. The amendment does not include any mandates for spending or technology requirements. Enacting legislation would be decided by the Legislature only after the amendment is approved during the 2012 November election.