Tags: voter | id | minnesota

Minn. Supreme Court to Hear Voter ID Challenge

Thursday, 07 Jun 2012 10:09 AM

By Greg McDonald

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The Minnesota Supreme Court has scheduled oral arguments for July 17 on whether to kill or modify a constitutional amendment that would require voters to show government-approved photo identification.
 
The amendment is scheduled to appear on the November ballot and the court has asked the state to set a deadline for its decision “in order to modify the ballot, if necessary,” before the fall election, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

“The case puts Minnesota’s high court in the same company as judicial branches across the country that are weighing the pros and cons of partisan voting disputes,” the Tribune said in its report Thursday.

Opponents of the amendment, which was approved by the Republican-controlled state legislature earlier this year, have asked the court to strike the initiative from the ballot, arguing that its simple language requiring voters to present a valid photo ID to vote hides the fact that it would impact a broad range of election issues.

According to the Star Tribune, Common Cause, the American Civil Liberties Union, the League of Women Voters, and other opponents plan to argue the amendment would also end the state’s same-day registration, limit absentee voting, and require the state to adopt provisional voting.

The newspaper said opponents contend it could also cost the state $40 million to provide state-issued, free photo IDs to voters who don’t have acceptable identification.

The legislature approved a voter ID bill last year, but it was vetoed by Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton. Dayton, however, has no veto authority over constitutional amendments.

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