Another blow in the fight against voter suppression:
Voters in Minnesota will decide (in November) whether the state Constitution should require government-issued photo identification should when voting. The state Senate gave the measure final approval today on a 35-29 vote.
The ballot question will ask if the Constitution should 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?"
Republicans say the requirement will prevent voter fraud, even though there's no real record of serious voter fraud in Minnesota or in other states. All the Democrats in the Minnesota Senate opposed it, and for good reason.
The question is written very cleverly. Notice it requires the state to "provide free identification," supposedly taking the issue of excluding the poor (and therefore, voter suppression) from the polls off the table.
In reality, these "free" identification requirements do not prevent voter suppression at all. Just the hassle of getting a voter ID, free or not, discourages/prevents certain people from exercising their right to vote, especially people of color, people with disabilities, students, low-income workers and seniors (all key voting blocks for Democrats).
Plus, it may still cost you money to get the necessary identification to qualify for a free voter ID as Dr. Caroline Heldman, Professor of Politics at Occidental University, explained to Ed back in December:
It's an issue that's very likely to impact your state sooner or later:
Oh, voters in Minnesota are also deciding on a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in the state. Lovely.