Earlier this year, the Minnesota state legislature passed SF 509, requiring photo ID at the polls. Governor Mark Dayton vetoed the bill, but proponents led by ALEC State Chairwoman Mary Kiffmeyer managed to bypass him by pushing through a constitutional amendment version (HF 2738) and sending the voter ID question to voters. Efforts went forth to remove it from the ballot but the MN Supreme Court denied the challenge.
An aggressive “Vote No” movement was waged all the way up to Election Day. ACLU of Minnesota, Common Cause Minnesota, Jewish Community Action, Take Action MN, and Our Vote Our Future all campaigned and distributed information about the harmful and discriminatory nature of voter ID. The Minnesota League of Women Voters issued an excellent fact sheet that debunked the most common misleading claims regarding voter ID, and a popular “I Pledge to Vote NO” Facebook page got information out over social media networks. But organizations continued to grow weary as polls showed that voters were willing to approve the amendment all the way up to the week before Election Day.
But the campaign apparently worked – Minnesotans ended up opposing voter ID on Tuesday and the amendment failed 54.2% to 45.8%. Minnesotans do not need to fear having to present a photo ID to vote in future elections, and the question can largely be put to rest.
Throughout 2011 and 2012, conservative groups and legislators sought to restrict the right to vote and disenfranchise multiple groups of people. Minnesotans proved to want to preserve the right to vote for all.