Republicans in the Minnesota House have passed a final version of their voter ID constitutional amendment bill.
The vote early this morning was 72 to 57 and fell along party lines. Under the measure, voters will get to decide whether to amend the state constitution with a new requirement for eligible Minnesotans to show photo identification at their polling places on Election Day. If approved, the amendment would also create a new provisional balloting system.
Supporters argue the measure is needed for election integrity.
Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen, R-Glencoe, said there are too many questions about potential voter fraud, and the public wants changes.
"I want everybody to vote who is legally able to vote," Gruenhagen said. "But I don't want anybody to vote who is not legally able to vote. The reason is that waters down the integrity of the system and casts doubt on some of the election results."
Democrats opposed the amendment and predicted court challenges ahead. They also pointed out that the Minnesota Legislature had never before passed a constitutional amendment without some bipartisan support.
Rep. Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley, accused Republicans of trying to trick voters into getting rid of same-day registration and absentee voting.
"It seems to me what you're doing is trying to sell your amendment to the voters, mislead them into believing that this is just about saying who you are on Election Day, when in fact your bill is a Trojan Horse to do a lot of other things to disrupt and cause chaos in Minnesota's election system," Winkler said.
Passage in the Senate, which will likely come later today, will place the measure on the statewide ballot in November.