ACLU leads challenge to voter ID amendment in court todayby Tim Pugmire, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Supreme Court will hear arguments Tuesday afternoon in a lawsuit aimed at keeping the voter ID constitutional amendment off of the statewide ballot.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota, League of Women Voters Minnesota and other anti-amendment groups are asking the court to strike down the ballot question. They claim its wording is too vague and misleading.
Chuck Samuelson, executive director of the ACLU Minnesota, said the amendment would do far more than require voters to show photo identification at the polls.
"It almost certainly would eliminate absentee voting. It almost certainly would eliminate the ability of service men and women overseas to vote. It discriminates against people who don't have drivers licenses," he said.
But photo ID supporters argue the lawsuit is without merit. Lawyers representing the state Legislature will defend the Republican-backed amendment during the court hearing.
Dan McGrath of pro-amendment group Minnesota Majority said the question is fine the way it is.
"The Legislature, when posing a ballot question to the people, essentially has to frame it as a one sentence question. And the the essence of the amendment is conveyed in that sentence as they posed it," he said.
Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has said a court ruling is needed by Aug. 27 to accommodate the printing of ballots.