The Voter ID Amendment has been passed by the Minnesota state legislature and will appear on the November ballot. Now it’s up to us, The People, to ratify the proposed amendment. Ratification requires an extraordinary majority of voters to vote yes. This means that any voter who casts a ballot in the election but fails to vote on the Voter ID amendment will be counted as if they voted no. We need to get every voter who is committed to maintaining honest elections to vote IN FAVOR of the Voter ID Amendment.
What does the Voter ID Amendment Require?
This is a simple, straight-forward and easily understandable amendment. It does four simple things:
- The amendment requires all voters to present photographic identification to establish their identity (note that the amendment does not require establishment of residence – this is handled by current statute);
- It requires equal standards of eligibility verification for all voters, regardless of when they register to vote;
- It guarantees that the state must make photographic identification available to eligible voters at no charge; and
- It allows a voter without identification to cast a “provisional ballot” entitling the voter’s ballot to be counted once he or she can establish identification after the election. This will give voters without proper credentials a second chance to vote, when they would otherwise be turned away from the polls with no chance to vote under current laws.
The question that will be on the ballot in November reads: “Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to require all voters to present valid photo identification to vote and to require the state to provide free identification to eligible voters, effective July 1, 2013?”
Full Text of the Amendment Bill
How to read this constitutional amendment: words that are not underlined are existing language in the Minnesota Constitution that are not being changed. Underlined words are being added to the existing language and words with a
strikethrough are existing language that would be removed by the amendment. In the final version being presented to voters, no words are being removed, but there are strikethroughs in older versions of the bill.
The final language that has been passed and put to the voters reads:
Section 1. CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT PROPOSED.
An amendment to the Minnesota Constitution is proposed to the people. If the amendment is adopted, article VII, section 1 will read:
Section 1. (a) Every person 18 years of age or more who has been a citizen of the United States for three months and who has resided in the precinct for 30 days next preceding an election shall be entitled to vote in that precinct. The place of voting by one otherwise qualified who has changed his residence within 30 days preceeding the election shall be prescribed by law. The following persons shall not be entitled or permitted to vote at any election in this state: A person not meeting the above requirements; a person who has been convicted of treason or felony, unless restored to civil rights; a person under guardianship, or a person who is insane or not mentally competent.
(b) All voters voting in person must present valid government-issued photographic identification before receiving a ballot. The state must issue photographic identification at no charge to an eligible voter who does not have a form of identification meeting the requirements of this section. A voter unable to present government-issued photographic identification must be permitted to submit a provisional ballot. A provisional ballot must only be counted if the voter certifies the provisional ballot in the manner provided by law.
(c) All voters, including those not voting in person must be subject to substantially equivalent identity and eligibility verification prior to a ballot being cast or counted.
Sec. 2 SUBMISSION TO VOTERS.
(a) The proposed amendment must be submitted to the people at the 2012 general election. If approved, the amendment is effective July 1, 2013, for all voting at elections scheduled to be conducted November 5, 2013, and thereafter. The question submitted must be:
“Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to require all voters to present valid photo identification to vote and to require the state to provide free identification to eligible voters, effective July 1, 2013?”
(b) The title required under Minnesota Statutes, section 204D.15, subdivision 1, for the quesion submitted to the people under paragraph (a) shall be: “Photo Identification Required for Voting.”