Religious leaders oppose voter IDby Tim Pugmire, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Clergy members from several religious faiths have joined forces to try to defeat Minnesota's voter ID constitutional amendment.
About 50 Twin Cities religious leaders packed a State Capitol news conference to announce the "Faith In Democracy Campaign" on Thursday.
Organizers claim the proposed requirement for voters to show official government photo identification when voting is a threat to democracy and would prevent thousands of eligible Minnesotans from voting.
"People who are a part of my congregation, they will not be able to vote, and I must speak out in their defense and give a voice to them," said Rabbi Marcia Zimmerman, of Temple Israel in Minneapolis.
Reverend Jerry McAfee of New Salem Missionary Baptist Church in Minneapolis and the Minnesota State Baptist Convention described the amendment as a step backward for people of color.
"It is my opinion that voter suppression and voter restriction is shrouded in racism, with connection to poverty as well as those in senior communities. It is sad. It is striking, and it blows my mind that this is an issue that is basically not a problem that's looking for a problem," he said.
Voter ID supporters insist that the creation of a new provisional balloting system as part of the amendment will prevent voter disenfranchisement.