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MN Voter ID Amendment Fails: 'Vote No' Wins

With most ballots in, Yes votes were mired well below the 50 percent needed to change the Minnesota Constitution.

Minnesota voters rejected a constitutional amendment Tuesday that would have required them to show photo ID before they cast their ballots.

It was past 1:30 a.m. Wednesday when the Associated Press called the ballot question for the Vote No forces.

At 1:45 a.m., with 87.47 percent of precincts reporting, the Minnesota Secretary of State estimated that yes votes were 45.74 percent of all ballots cast.

Update (Wednesday, 3:30 p.m.). Unofficial results now show these results:

  • "Yes" votes: 1,362,879
  • "No" votes: 1,536,296
  • Blank responses (estimated): 41,647
  • Estimated total number of votes: 2,940,822
  • Estimated percentage of "Yes" votes: 46.34 percent

The ballot measure needed more than 50 percent to pass.

Growing Optimism
Earlier in the long evening, with about 675,000 ballots counted, Our Vote Our Future spokesman Eric Fought said, "We're optimistic" about the Vote No chances.

He added, "It could tighten up a little bit. We want to see more [results] come in from some other places in the state."

Did he expect to see significant differences in how people in different areas of the state voted?

"Not really. A lot of folks in the [Twin] Cities and Duluth moved earlier [to a Vote No position]," Fought said. "But people in Greater Minnesota are really concerned about the amendment."

Fought said the recent movement in polls toward the Vote No position reflected undecided voters making decision as Election Day neared.

Fewer than 26,000 voters who cast the first 675,000 ballots counted left the Voter ID question blank. Fought chalked that up to two high-profile amendments on the ballot—"and both on the front side of the ballot," he noted.

The Vote No party in St. Paul was picking up steam, Fought said, after Gov. Mark Dayton (D) made an early appearance. "[Former Republican Gov. Arne] Carlson is here right now," he said. "People are excited, but cautious."

'Blend' Wanted
State Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer (R-Big Lake) learned about the first results in the Voter ID amendment referendum when Patch called her at about 9 p.m.

"It's absolutely, way too early," Kiffmeyer said then. She said the urban counties of Hennepin and Ramsey would have low support for voter ID, while support would be higher in the suburbs. "You at least want a blend" of results from those kinds of counties," she said.

Her watchword for evaluating Voter ID returns: "Wait."

But after five more hours, the Vote Yes cause was lost.

"The people of Minnesota are smart," said Our Vote Our Future's Fought in a 3 a.m. email. "For the past six months amendment proponents had the opportunity to convince voters that this was necessary. They failed to do so. There were far too many costs, consequences and questions left unanswered."

Washington County Watchdog November 08, 2012 at 08:04 AM
really? what holes? and how would have being able to vote provessional with no ID been preventing anyone from voting? They can all vote, request a FREE state ID (as if any productive member of society doesn't have an ID), and then provide ID later (usually within 10 days). I've still yet to hear of any verifiable MN residents who are legal to vote in MN (and want to) who does not have an ID.... it's such a non issue it's sick. It's about as stupid as saying "well because you have to show ID to pick up a perscription that prevents people from getting their meds, therefore no ID should be required." Enter any ID required activity to that sentence... drinking, renting, working, driving, or even to go to college.
Washington County Watchdog November 08, 2012 at 08:12 AM
If having to produce a free state ID in order to vote is suppression, why should anything have an ID requirement? The bus driver that picks your kids up for school, the sex offender who wants to move in next to you, the utility man who says he needs to go down in your basement, or even your teen ager who's looking to buy a case of beer. Voting's too important to not require ID... unless you're a democrat in a state who leads the nation in voter fraud conviction.
Washington County Watchdog November 08, 2012 at 08:24 AM
sorry, what part of the ammendment said democrats can't vote? And what part of FREE ID is a problem? It's not like november 6th is a big secrete as the national, state, and local election day. If I plan to leave the country I plan to renew my $200 passport... am I being held in the US against my will and having my freedom to travel suppressed because I need a passport to safely travel in and out of the country? If you're 65 or older your state ID and/or driver's license becomes a valid state ID for the rest of your life... name one disenfranchised or low income MN resident who isn't on SSI or medicare/medicade (you need ID for those)... You can request a absentee ballot if you can't make it out to vote because of hardship. If you're in the hospital on election day you can still vote (I worked election day and two election officials we're going up and down the halls taking votes... (if you're in the hospital getting care you have ID)) The problem with your arguments are there is no verifiable actual situations where someone wouldn't already have an ID to get through life to find themselves without an ID on election day... lost ID, vote provissional and provide it later (if it's a close race you'll have time for your vote to count).
Rosco November 08, 2012 at 01:21 PM
As a student attending a school outside of the Twin Cities I would have been denied the right to vote. My DL had my family's address and while in school I had a different address. The cost to develop, launch and maintain this program would have cost each and everyone of us more in taxes/fees or whatever you want to call it. Glad the people in MN saw what this was really about and voted no.
rob_h78 November 08, 2012 at 01:42 PM
Free ID's? More freebies from the government? How much are you willing to spend to pay for the Free ID's? Another tax? Another fee? Funny how Conservatives who hate government spending are suddenly ready to start handing out Free Stuff to everyone. Another point that Republicans may want to think about - other than it was to require a Government Photo ID - the rest of it is pretty vague and if it had passed - the DFL (who now controls State Government) would have been the people implementing it - no doubt Conservatives would have been complaining and moaning about that part when that reality hit them upside their head. No doubt they will be back with another attempt because the alternative is to have to actually try to expand their base of voters and with their Far Right Base its just easier to suppress voter participation rather than expand it (at for now because it is a short term strategy that will come back to bite the Republican Party down the road).
roger b hess jr November 08, 2012 at 01:48 PM
i believe a student living away from home could vote via absentee ballot, though technically, if you move for more than 30 days, you are legally required to obtain a new DL with your current address. i assume enough, non-eligible voters voted against the ID amendment, so it failed, and they can continue to vote illegally. so, now, you can continue to load up a couple of buses with 200 people and travel from precinct to precinct, voting many times, just by having someone vouch that you live in the precinct.
Susan November 08, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Matt, I have written this several time before, but since you asked, I will post it again. Sorry to those sick of reading about it, but when someone tells me to give them proof, I need go no farther than my immediate family.: I thought showing your ID made sense also, until I realized what this meant for my father. He is a 72 year-old homebound quadriplegic who currently votes by absentee ballot. It costs him nearly $100 to rent a van plus $50-$100 for a home care worker to go with to get a photo ID....he would need it for no other reason. My father was an employer in his community until his disability got worse, and forced him to retire. He is on a very fixed income, in fact this little venture would almost be the cost of his groceries for one month. Although my father is a quadriplegic, he does have feeling in his limbs, in fact they are very sensitive and often get painful spasms when his body is subjected to sharp movements or drastic changes in temperature...a van ride is a seriously painful voyage. Since you work in the medical field, I will tell you that he had a tumor next to his spine (in his neck) removed in 68, cutting some nerves. There is now a cyst in the same position pressing on nerves. I think everyone needs to sit back and realize that just because it's easy or common sense for you to carry an ID, doesn't mean it is quite so simple for everyone else. Why should my father be punished because you feel that this is a 'no brainer' issue?
Susan November 08, 2012 at 02:04 PM
And Matt, please read my first comment again. I am not opposed to stopping voter fraud, I am opposed to one all-encompassing statement without qualifications. Voting on something BEFORE we know the details is absurd. Force the legislature to work through the details that work for BOTH sides, and that will not disenfranchise the elderly, handicapped, young, etc.
Rosco November 08, 2012 at 02:10 PM
WOW. Some pretty angry white men.
Randy Marsh November 08, 2012 at 03:15 PM
I don't oppose voter ID, I oppose THIS voter ID amendment that provided virtually no details about what would be required or how much it was going to cost. Many of the figures suggest it was not a nominal amount to the state and when you factor in the few numbers of situations where this would potentially prevent fraudulent, it is simply not worth it, especially with so many unanswered questions.
Randy Marsh November 08, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Does anyone actually believe the number of people voting illegally is more than the number of eligible voters who are likely to be discouraged from voting with all these additional hoops to jump through for those who might not have a government issued ID? To suggest that voting provisionally is not more than a minor inconvenience is just silly.
Randy Marsh November 08, 2012 at 03:23 PM
I'm sure you have documentation of all those cases where busloads of illegals are going from precinct to precinct voting several times with someone vouching for them. Thanks for being the stereotypical lunatic fringe in this discussion offering nothing but irrational hubris.
Washington County Watchdog November 09, 2012 at 07:24 AM
lol, totally ignore the facts and logical questions I laid out and change the subject onto to the cost of the IDs.... how about you read my post over, stay on topic this time and answer my question, and then I can respond to your new questions and name calling.
Washington County Watchdog November 09, 2012 at 07:35 AM
Wrong again, you could have voted provessional... in a close enough race it's never called early, in most states with voter ID you have 10 days to come back with a new ID. Again, if you REALLY wanted to vote, it's not like November 6th is a big secrete, We can't hold your hand to the voting booth. As far as the cost, another lie.... republicans used voter ID in the MN primary election (at least at my location) the computers are cheap clunkers that only need to connect to the internet and the card reader is also cheap... a quick swipe verifies you are 18, a resident, and haven't voted yet.... it'd be a VERY small cost... Over cheaper yet (free) keep the registered voter list, and have the election judges ID you just like a bar tender does.
Washington County Watchdog November 09, 2012 at 07:41 AM
Susan, you also fail to stick to the subject and answer my post... I stay on topic and answer the arguments and points you make out. I'm sorry your father is sick... but the voter ID ammendment woudn't stop absentee voting, your dad and all the other handicaped, sick, home bound, and those who travel will still be able to vote... The things people tell themselves in order to vote the way they do never ceases to amaze me.
Washington County Watchdog November 09, 2012 at 07:45 AM
Answer the question Randy... you can't sit on your high horse and pretend to be a champion of the half dozen or so disinfranchised voters who don't have an ID and at the same time not apply your logic to do away with ID checks for everything else that requires an ID. Why can't anyone stay on topic and answer me?
Susan November 09, 2012 at 01:48 PM
Matt, I replied directly to your statement: "The problem with your arguments are there is no verifiable actual situations where someone wouldn't already have an ID to get through life to find themselves without an ID on election day." Getting an ID would cause my father a financial and physical hardship. You would still have to have an ID to vote absentee. He doesn't travel, he has never been asked for an ID at the doctor, who he has seen for over 30 years, his home care workers pick up his prescriptions, and he obviously doesn't drive. I gave you an EXACT answer to your statement. You are the one avoiding the obvious point...stop blowing smoke when you have been proven wrong! Yes, telling yourself that you are making some point by ignoring the obvious, is wrong, Matt...you should stop that.
Nick November 09, 2012 at 01:57 PM
Susan, I'm having a discussion with Randy on another thread and I want your opinion. http://hopkins.patch.com/articles/barack-obama-re-elected-president-20dd9add He seems to think that is insulting and condescending to women and minorities for conservatives to begin to engage in effective communication. For instance, when I explained my position to you on abortion, did you feel I was insulting your intelligence, or the intelligence of anyone for that matter? Thanks
Susan November 09, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Hi Nick, yep, I am there, and left you a comment this morning, before seeing this post from you. I will chime in there about your comment here in a while, but I know Randy is also following here so I will quickly say no. As I have mentioned previously, your argument about abortion was the most logical that I have heard. It is not based on religion, it wasn't condescending, and if any argument would change my mind (I am still thinking about it), your argument would do it. The problem is that your party leaders don't have the integrity to shout down people like Akin and Mourdoch. They support them because of that (R) behind their name, and they are having a hard time coming to grips with the fact that it can no longer be all or none when it comes to the party positions. More later, on the other thread.
Nick November 09, 2012 at 04:58 PM
The GOP Party leaders all need to go. They are guilty of dereliction of duty and need replacement. And Rush Limbaugh needs to be replaced by Dennis Prager as the king of talk radio. Rush is doing us no favors.
Terry Beckman November 09, 2012 at 11:36 PM
How many college students do you know have illegal ID's. This will increase fraud, not stop it. Until you talk about ID forms that cannot be faked(fingerprints, retinal ID) you will not have an issue. It takes about 2 - 3 or more weeks to create a new driver's license, this is an issue for college students that are away from home. Birth or marriage certificates cannot be obtained by many naturized citizens or people who have moved up from the south. Minnesota took it for what is was, a voter supression attempt.
corvettergal November 10, 2012 at 12:20 AM
The only voter suppression taking place would be the voters that shouldn't be voting. Anyone who thinks there is no voter fraud has blinders on.
Susan November 10, 2012 at 12:33 AM
It's a good thing that the majority of Minnesotans saw this amendment for what it was, and voted accordingly. I do not think there is "no voter fraud", I think that we had to reject this amendment based on the fact that we were being asked to vote on something before knowing the details. We need exemptions for people who would have a physical or financial hardship getting to the DMV to get an ID. We need to make sure that we can still have same day registration. We need to make sure that our military will still be able to vote. We need to make sure this can be done in a financial smart way.
Nick November 10, 2012 at 03:08 AM
I do agree, Susan, but now that the DFL has taken over the entire state government, there is virtually no chance of seeing an amended piece of legislation on this any time soon. I voted "yes" because I wanted to take what I could get. Now I fear we'll get nothing in the way of improved election security.
Al Anderson November 10, 2012 at 06:26 AM
Wow....one ignorant sterotyping poster
Markus November 10, 2012 at 01:39 PM
"Obama failed to win ANY states with photo ID laws for voters, but he did win all the swing states which do not require voter ID." http://guardianlv.com/2012/11/election-results-for-obama-show-a-disturbing-trend-see-video/ You can draw your own conclusions.
Ray November 10, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Obama won all states where gay marraige is legal. You can draw you own conclusions.
rob_h78 November 10, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Yes, voter suppression does work which is why Republicans are continuing to push it - they know that they cannot win on an even playing field. But then again only two states that Obama won in 2008 turned in 2012. Here's a fun fact. Fox Business News posted a story about the Best and Worst Educated States: http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2012/10/15/americas-best-and-worst-educated-states/ After the election if you compare these states to who voted for Obama you find that Best Educated States all voted for Obama. And Romney won all of the Worst Educated States (with the exception of Nevada) http://www.happyplace.com/19076/election-infographic-shows-most-educated-states-voted-for-obama You can draw your own conclusions.
Dee November 10, 2012 at 04:26 PM
"Obama failed to win ANY states with photo ID laws for voters," This is wrong. Michigan, New Hampshire, Hawaii, and Florida have a photo ID law and he won those states.
Dee November 10, 2012 at 04:29 PM
and he also won in states that have non-photo voter ID requirements, ie, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island, and Washington.

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