Bill to require photo ID for voters heads to state Houseby Tom Scheck, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — A House committee will hold a hearing this Thursday morning on a bill that would require voters to present a state-issued photo ID to have their vote count in an election.
The bill is modeled after a 2005 Indiana law which was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court. The Indiana law allows voters who don't have a photo ID at the polling place to cast a provisional ballot, and then the voter must present identification to an elections official within a specified time period.
State Representative Mary Kiffmeyer, R-17B, who served two terms as Secretary of State, is one of the bill's chief backers. She said the plan will ensure voter integrity.
"Increasing public confidence increases voter turnout. Do you know I focused on that for eight years. We had the highest voter turnout in the country all my eight years when I was in office. It didn't depress anything. So I think doing those sorts of things increases voter turnout and simplifying the process is a good idea too," Kiffmeyer said.
But current Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said the plan is too expensive, and will keep some people from voting.
"The only argument that's ever made is that this will prevent voter impersonation. I've looked through 150 years of Minnesota voting history and haven't found one case. But we have now determined how much the proposals will cost and it's millions for everybody. The locals, the state, everybody involved," Ritchey said.
While Kiffmeyer pushed for photo IDs at the polls during her time as Secretary of State, it was not required under state law.