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ID Verification a topic of debate in Minnesota

Apr 19, 2011 Brian Bradley

ID Verification a topic of debate in Minnesota
Among the most contentious political issues in recent years has been the use of an ID verification system for voters. Some lawmakers have been creating legislation to combat what they see as a growing problem of illegal voting by those who are not entitled to do so.
 In Minnesota, a proposed law to deal with voter identification verification was recently discussed during a meeting at Central Lakes College in Brainerd. State representative Mary Kiffmeyer, who authored a bill forcing voters to show a photo ID before being able to vote, said that it would be a great way to make sure nobody tried to vote under a false name, the Brainerd Dispatch reports. A crowd of approximately 70 people came to the event, where the former Minnesota secretary of state touted the new law, stating that it was a "common sense provision" and that more people would vote as a result. Despite the fact that the majority of voters act in an honest way, the state legislator said that the bill was an added security factor and pointed to other examples to prove her point. "If you think there is no fraud ... Did you lock your car? Did you lock your house?" she told the crowd, according to the news source. But not everyone who spoke at the meeting was so confident of the proposal. Representative Steve Simon, who is also an attorney, said that not only would thousands of voters be kept from casting ballots, but that the cost of implementing such a system would be too expensive given the low-frequency of voter fraud. "The costs are just, at least for the time being, too high," he said, according to the paper. He went on to say that voters who lived in nursing homes, battered women's shelters and college dorms would be prevented from voting, because people in those situation often lack a formal form of identification. Other states have been moving toward a photo ID requirement during the voter process. The Associated Press reports that a proposal to force voters to show an ID recently passed in the Tennessee House of Representatives by a 57-35 vote. The approval came despite the concerns of Tennessee Attorney General Bob Cooper, who said that the measure could violate the Constitution by charging people a "poll tax."