House Approves Voter ID 21 Mar 12

The Minnesota House has approved a bill calling for a constitutional amendment requiring voters to show a photo ID. Legislators in the House debated the divisive issue well into the night before it passed on strict party lines. Republican Representative Paul Torkelson of St. James says that reports that certain voters such as the elderly and disabled would be disenfranchised by the measure are not true. Opponents of the measure have proposed using an “electronic poll book” with voters’ photos right on the register that they sign before receiving their ballot. Democrat Terry Morrow of St. Peter says he offered an amendment to the bill that would have changed the requirement from a government-issued ID to a government-approved ID, but it was voted down. The Senate is expected to hear the same bill in a committee today (WED), and could hold a floor vote as early as Friday. If the two bodies agree, the proposed amendment would go before voters on the November ballot.