DISCUSS: How Does Fridley Feel about the MN Photo ID Amendment?
The governor issued a veto but question will still be on ballot.
President Obama and Governor Dayton gave proposed Minnesota Constitutional amendments banning gay marriage and requiring voters' photo IDs a thumb's down and veto stamp Monday, respectively.
But what does Fridley think about changing the state Constitution, now that both questions are on the November general election ballot?
Share your opinion in comments below and add your voice to the poll above.
Here is what Dayton said and did on the photo ID measure, and how others responded. (See this post for more on Obama and the marriage amendment.)
Dayton Vetoes Photo ID
On Monday, Gov. Dayton vetoed the bill to put to voters the question of whether to amend the Minnesota Constitution so they have to show photo ID at polling places. But Dayton acknowledged his action won't stop the amendment from appearing on the general election ballot in November, because a constitutional amendment doesn't require his signature.
"This amendment is a proverbial wolf in sheep's clothing," Dayton wrote in a letter (see PDF) to Minnesota House Speaker Kurt Zellers (R-Maple Grove). The amendment "goes far beyond its stated intention to require Photo ID's. Instead, it dismantles Minnesota's Best-in-the-Nation election system" by ending same-day voter registration and requiring new system of provisional ballots, Dayton wrote, adding that it "would severely restrict absentee voting, mail-in voting, and balloting for members of our Armed Forces and others overseas."
Senate Majority Leader David Senjem (R-Rochester) derided Dayton's move as a "mock veto" that "misleads voters," in a statement quoted by MinnPost:
Governor Dayton’s mock veto today of the Voter ID constitutional amendment is completely misleading and intervenes with a constitutional process allowed our citizens. ... The Governor’s action today misleads voters by suggesting the Governor has the authority to override the legislature’s right to place a question on the ballot.
Pro and Con Groups
Organizations advocating for and against the photo ID amendment reacted to Dayton's veto. Take Action Minnesota's leader, Dan McGrath, said in a statement (see attached PDF) that the governor "did right" in "expressing his unequivocal opposition" to the amendment. The leader of the pro-photo ID group Minnesota Majority, also named Dan McGrath, told the Star Tribune that his side (like the other side) is gearing up its campaign with a website called ProtectMyVote.com (opponents have OurVoteOurFuture.org).
(Meanwhile, a voter ID law passed last year in Wisconsin has been creating a lot of controversy.)
Bill Author on Same-day Registration
On Friday, before the governor's action, photo ID bill author State Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer (R-Big Lake) told St. Michael Patch she had concerns about the current system of same-day voter registration:
Who's to say you don't get a friend to come with you, go to the poll and say you're someone you know in your building? You have people there to vouch for you. Without ID, you can't really double check that.
Fridley Same-day Registration
A map created by MinnPost shows that Fridley was one of three suburban cities with one or more precincts where 40 percent or more of voters registered on Election Day. (The other cities are Edina and Inver Grove Heights.)
Same-day registrants accounted for 40.45 percent of people casting ballots in Fridley's Ward 3-Precinct 3 in 2008, MinnPost's map shows.
That precinct runs from I-694 to Mississippi Street, between the river and railroad tracks, plus an area north between the river and East River Road up to Manomin Park.
Two other precincts, in Fridley's northwest and northeast corners, had more than a quarter of voters registering at the polls.
LANGUAGE OF BILL, AMENDMENT AND BALLOT QUESTION
For reference, here is the text of the photo ID bill, which contains the language of the proposed Constitutional amendment, and the exact wording of the question that voter will see on the ballot (they're different):
House File 2738, as approved by the House and Senate:
Section 1. CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT PROPOSED
An amendment to the Minnesota Constitution is proposed to the people. If the amendment is adopted, article VII, section 1, will read:
Section 1. (a) Every person 18 years of age or more who has been a citizen of the United States for three months and who has resided in the precinct for 30 days next preceding an election shall be entitled to vote in that precinct. The place of voting by one otherwise qualified who has changed his residence within 30 days preceding the election shall be prescribed by law.The following persons shall not be entitled or permitted to vote at any election in this state: A person not meeting the above requirements; a person who has been convicted of treason or felony, unless restored to civil rights; a person under guardianship, or a person who is insane or not mentally competent. (b) All voters voting in person must present valid government-issued photographic identification before receiving a ballot. The state must issue photographic identification at no charge to an eligible voter who does not have a form of identification meeting the requirements of this section. A voter unable to present government-issued photographic identification must be permitted to submit a provisional ballot. A provisional ballot must only be counted if the voter certifies the provisional ballot in the manner provided by law. (c) All voters, including those not voting in person, must be subject to substantially equivalent identity and eligibility verification prior to a ballot being cast or counted.
"Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to require all voters to present valid photo identification to vote and to require the state to provide free identification to eligible voters, effective July 1, 2013?
Sec. 2. SUBMISSION TO VOTERS
(a) The proposed amendment must be submitted to the people at the 2012 general election. If approved, the amendment is effective July 1, 2013, for all voting at elections scheduled to be conducted November 5, 2013, and thereafter. The question submitted must be:
(b) The title required under Minnesota Statutes, section 204D.15, subdivision 1, for the question submitted to the people under paragraph (a) shall be: 'Photo Identification Required for Voting.'"