ENCORE: Proposed Voter Photo ID Amendment Stirs Roseville Patch Readers

Minnesota Senate approves the measure which will now go to a vote of Minnesota citizens next November. What do you think? Take our pol, then join the debate.


The Minnesota Senate this past week debated, then pased a bill that will present a proposed Constitutional amendment to citizens on whether to require photo ID for voting.

And the issue has proven to be a political football with Roseville Patch readers. The controversy has generated dozens of reader comments in our most spirited online debate since launching Rosevlle Patch nearly a year ago.

Take our poll, then take a look at the comments that are being waged on this issue, both pro and con. And feel free to join the discussion.

The Senate's action means the proposed amendment will now go to Minnesota voters next November, according to a Pioneer Press report. The measure passed mostly along a vote of party lines, with Republicans supporting the measure and DFLers opposing it.

Among the opponents was state Sen. John Marty, DFL-Roseville. Here are some comments Marty made on the issue:

“The bottom line is you know the intent [of Republican sponsors].”

“No student at the University of Minnesota could use anything but a valid Driver’s License or License ID. They have to get those for those six months just in order to vote, so you’re probably going to disenfranchise a lot of them.”

“Frankly you can use a photo ID that looks nothing like you and an election judge doesn’t know.”

“This bill will disenfranchise students and people with disabilities.”

“A lot of the homeless population served in Vietnam and came back scarred and they deserved the same rights as we do.”

“This bill is going to disenfranchise tens of thousands of people.”

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John Kysylyczyn April 05, 2012 at 08:45 PM
So the 22,000 are homeless people? I wish I knew that. There doesn't seem to be any idea who this 22,000 group is. Voter ID should take care of that.
John Kysylyczyn April 05, 2012 at 08:48 PM
Your grandfather had a drivers license? I presume he received VA benefits? Well then he established a pretty credible ID. So he turns in his drivers license and gets one of the current government ID's issued by the state. So what's the big deal? A family member I know well has one of those non-driving ID's
John Kysylyczyn April 05, 2012 at 08:55 PM
Second class votes? You have been listening to too much of Rep. Winkler's propaganda. Cast a provisional ballot. Get your identification situation and address situation cleaned up afterwards. Not that big of a deal. It is no different than dealing with proof of car insurance issues. Don't have your proof on you, then deal with it later. Don't beat up on the underpaid poll workers. They do the best that they can. The constitutional amendment does not prevent these issues from being dealt with. Keep in mind that there is the constitutional amendment, and then the enabling legislation that comes afterwards. A provisional ballot is no more or less likely to be counted as an absentee ballot under our current system. If you support absentee balloting, then you have no grounds to complain about provisional ballots. Same thing. The exception is that absentee requires little or no identification and provisional does require ID for the vote to count after the election.
John Kysylyczyn April 05, 2012 at 09:00 PM
I love it how people twist terminology. Clone, you crack me up. Calling people that need to get an ID "disenfranchised" is ridiculous. You are only disenfranchised if you have no ability to get an ID and are prohibited from voting. I'll tell you what Clone, we can both join up and help people get ID's and then we both can help drive people to the polls afterwards. What good is an ID if you have no transportation to the polling place, right?
John Kysylyczyn April 05, 2012 at 09:02 PM
Clone, you have to admit that you were getting a little crazy and off track with the rest of us here when you made this comment.
Sue Triebenbach April 05, 2012 at 09:54 PM
It seems to me that mentioning the unibomber in a cave in Montana is crazy off track talk here...Montana is not in Minnesota!
John Kysylyczyn April 05, 2012 at 09:57 PM
Well my attempt to add humor was missed by one reader...
Sue Triebenbach April 05, 2012 at 09:58 PM
I wonder what the cost will be for everyone if this Voter ID thing passes....What kind of worms will be let out of the can to gum things up. Since I have yet to hear of any demonstrated and proven cases of voter fraud, I think it is all a waste of time and money and energy and anxiety..... When I move from Minneapolis to another city, my ID was not updated when I voted...my spouse vouched for me..... I'm voting NO on the Voter ID constitution amendment. I think we need to be very thoughtful and careful with what amendments we add to our constitution.
John Kysylyczyn April 05, 2012 at 10:01 PM
It will be cheaper than the Vikings stadium and a whole lot more worth while. Hopefully it will get people to start updating their ID's when they move. Sue, how soon did you vote after you moved?
Scott Carlson April 05, 2012 at 10:51 PM
A lot of interesting and thoughtful comments. As some of you have said, the means of how this will be carried out will come in the enabling legislation, if the amendment is approved. I can see both sides of the issue here. What I wish is that the legislature could have dealt with this issue as it does most. It gets either voted up or down and then its fate rests whether it gets signed into law or vetoed by the governor. Same for Dayton as when we had Pawlenty in office. That's what I usually expect the politicians to do.
Sue Triebenbach April 06, 2012 at 01:43 AM
I believe I moved in the fall and voted shortly after that. I don't believe that public money should be used to pay for the Vikings stadium either, but then others will argue that the stadium will bring money into the state.
John Kysylyczyn April 06, 2012 at 05:02 AM
If my memory is correct, the legislature did just this last year. They passed it, sent it to the governor, and it was vetoed. So instead of letting one person have the power to veto it, this year they decided to send it to all 5 million Minnesotans and we now have the power to sign it into law or veto it.
John Kysylyczyn April 06, 2012 at 05:31 PM
Justice John Paul Stevens, "There is not a single plaintiff who intends not to vote because of the new law, that is, who would vote were it not for the law. There are plaintiffs who have photo IDs and so are not affected by the law at all and plaintiffs who have no photo IDs but have not said they would vote if they did and so who also are, as far as we can tell, unaffected by the law. There thus are no plaintiffs whom the law will deter from voting."
The Twilight Clone April 06, 2012 at 06:55 PM
Please don't make a phony-baloney martyr of the GOP. Obviously they knew Dayton would veto it. Obviously they knew it would wind up on the ballot as an amendment. It's not as if their hands were tied and they had no other way to save us all from the horrors of voting while Democrat. I believe Scott is saying that it would've been better if the legislation went thru standard channels instead of the underhanded govern-by-amendment position they've now taken. Mark Dayton is still the chief executive; the only way the GOP can make laws is to override a veto or fall back on amendment city. The Republicans have a number of predictable pet issues -- many involve taking rights away from various groups. But rather than making any attempt to solve real problems by assembling coalitions, compromising and working with more people, they just fling those pet issues against the wall to see what sticks. They've done it in other states (the complete circuses in Wisconsin and Florida come to mind) and they finally got their chance to do it here. Seeing as how they have totally failed to address any of Minnesota's long-term issues (budget, education, infrastructure), I do think that voters will rightfully give them the axe this November. I can't think of another clown car more deserving.
John Kysylyczyn April 06, 2012 at 08:06 PM
Now now Clone, calm down. Whether the governor is going to veto a bill, regardless of the issue, is immaterial. The legislature is a separate branch of government and should carry about their business as the majority decided. If the governor vetos legislation, then the legislature can choose to call an override vote. We have a system of checks and balances and this is how the system works. Keep in mind that all groups have "pet issues". That applies to the Democrats, Republicans, and even your local school PTA. Most people join groups because there is some issue that they agree with. Both political parties support issues that changes the rights of individuals and groups. You have a very narrow viewpoint in claiming that rights are taken away. Actually rights are simply shifted from one group to another. Actually if you step back, you will discover that coalitions and compromising has been done on issues like Voter ID. If you got more involved in politics, you would see that we don't have two groups running the legislature. It isn't DFL vs. GOP. When you look deeper, you see that both of these groups are broken into smaller groups that are often times at war with each other. Have you seen the DFL from the Range agree lock and step with the DFL from the Twin Cities? No way. There are numerous battles between them. Same goes for the GOP. Right now the majorities are similar in size, but when they grow larger, then you start to see them break down.
John Kysylyczyn April 06, 2012 at 08:18 PM
Actually Clone, the history of Voter ID hasn't created any so called "circuses" like you claim, according to the dozen or so articles I read. You claim that the legislature hasn't addressed any long-term issues. Apparently you haven't been monitoring legislation or watching gavel to gavel coverage on TPT 2. Voter ID has taken up a microscopic amount of time compared to the other issues discussed this legislative session. You have been indoctrinated by Rep Thissen's speeches. The sad thing is the issue that has consumed the most amount of time is the Viking's stadium. That has been pushed by members of both parties. Actually that has been a Greater MN vs. metro MN issue. Greater MN wants the entertainment, and they want to force metro MN to pay for it. On the issue of budget, we now have a surplus. That wasn't all due to some amazing recovery of the economy. Education is doing just fine. In fact, they tried to accelerate the payments back to the schools and the governor vetoed it. Then infrastructure is a pretty broad word but there was a huge bonding bill last year, which was not the normal bonding year, and now there is another bonding bill proposed for this year. That is addressing infrastructure. Voters will make their decisions this November. Unfortunately though, I think that most will be making decisions based on phony sound bites rather than more solid facts. Clone, you used the words "Clown car", which is another phony sound bite.
William Norton April 07, 2012 at 01:11 PM
As a Air Force veteran who served in the Vietnam War, I'm sick of liberals like Marty broad-brushing the homeless as scarred Vietnam Vets, as Vietnam Vets as scarred homeless. We are not "victims". Get off our side. And if you're too stupid or helpless to put down the bottle long enough to obtain a photo id, you're too mentally unqualified to vote.
Paul Lareau April 07, 2012 at 02:30 PM
Not until they come up with a foolproof way of guaranteeing the inclusion of ballots cast by absentee voters (especially military families and Americans Abroad) and persons who have moved since the last election and/or the last time they updated their ID. (This assumes that updating an ID for address change will be free of charge for everyone, and issued on the spot by the appropriate agency.) Also, because voting includes federal elections, as well as state and local, all rules for issuing and using ID's for voting need to be standardized nationally to avoid discrimination against voters in individual states with less inclusive voting requirements in federal elections. I am rather surprised that those supporting voter ID have not yet demanded a mandatory, fully current NATIONAL PHOTO ID CARD, to be required of every American Citizen, not only for voting, but for all government services, benefits, and ultimately all the things we require the use of other photo ID's for today.
John Kysylyczyn April 07, 2012 at 04:28 PM
Paul, things are already heading in the direction of a national ID card. Federal legislation that made changes to passports after 911 included provisions where states could issue driver's licenses that met passport like standards. These driver's licenses could be used like the passport cards for land or sea entry into Canada or Mexico. So the standards have been set, but implementing them adds considerable expense so only a few states have given this consideration. From what I have heard about the new Voter ID proposal, I think you will come as close as anyone has come to assuring that all legitimate votes cast will be counted. Then also with the recent federal military voting law, states were required to change their election calendars to give more time for those casting overseas ballots. While we always talk about overseas military voting, there is also a large group of just regular US citizens abroad that get to vote for president.
Tony Yarusso April 07, 2012 at 06:53 PM
Again, that whole "clear it up later" thing may be easy for you, but it's not for everyone. You don't seem to appreciate that fact.
Tony Yarusso April 07, 2012 at 06:53 PM
You must not have read my post. The point was that he was not willing to turn in his drivers license. I thought I was clear about that.
Tony Yarusso April 07, 2012 at 06:58 PM
We do NOT have a surplus in Minnesota - that term was explicitly not used in the report, but GOP leadership decided to use it anyway for political points. What we have is slightly less of our massive debt than was expected, no more.
John Kysylyczyn April 08, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Well either you renew your license or you turn it in and get an ID card. The last thing we need is someone driving who shouldn't be. I almost got hit head-on by a 90 year old guy or woman who crossed the yellow line by a half of a car length about two Friday evening's ago on Victoria Street near Woodhill. I traced the vehicle info and that is the info I got back. Whoever was driving shouldn't have been.
John Kysylyczyn April 08, 2012 at 12:01 AM
No constitutional amendment that I know of has had three or four pages worth of language on the ballot.
John Kysylyczyn April 08, 2012 at 12:06 AM
Actually we have more revenue coming in versus what was projected. That is considered a surplus. Of course, the state is in debt because we have billions of dollars worth of outstanding bonds. Until we stop issuing billion dollar bonding bills and start paying off the state's credit card, technically the state will always be in debt from that perspective. The state currently has money sitting in the bank. If the payments to schools would have been accelerated, there still would have been money in the bank. Not sure what you are talking about with this "massive debt" unless you are referring to bonding debt that I mentioned above.
Mike Boguszewski April 08, 2012 at 04:55 PM
As I said in my blog in the Patch of a few weeks ago -- http://roseville.patch.com/blog_posts/roseville-blog-the-reality-of-voter-id -- I personally observed voter and election judge behavior that could have been (a) fraud, or (b) a judge simply letting something slide that she should not have. This was not an isolated case -- it was one of more than 20,000 -- that's TWENTY THOUSAND -- cases where post-election verification of a voter at the given address given. It is simply not factual that this problem doesn't exist in Minnesota. AND no one is advocating that we swing the pendulum far to the other side and institute measures like some have brought up from other states -- as I said in a blog response, are we supposed to let excesses in other states scare us away from making our own system better? And as for hidden motives -- I have never, ever, behind closed doors or anywhere, once heard anyone, Republican or otherwise, hope that a voter i.d. law would prevent ANYONE from voting who has the right to vote. I am eager for November so we can see what Minnesotans want to do about voter i.d. -- I believe we will see that this is NOT a partisan issue, and that most people in this state favor improving our system so that THEIR legal vote is not nullified by one of the AT LEAST 20,000 votes cast that should perhaps should never have been allowed. If voter i.d. passes, then the system will get tighter and we will KNOW what percentage of that 20,000 was actually valid.
Tony Yarusso April 09, 2012 at 05:23 AM
Again, he was not driving, and eventually the license was expired, so there was no threat to your safety. He just didn't want to lose the card that was a reminder that he once could. I said that clearly above.
Tony Yarusso April 09, 2012 at 05:25 AM
"Surplus: An amount of something left over when requirements have been met; an excess of production or supply over demand.; More than what is needed or used; excess." It has nothing whatsoever to do with projected amounts.
John Kysylyczyn April 09, 2012 at 05:26 AM
So Tony if I understand you correct, we should not vote for Voter ID because there might be some senior citizens who hold a drivers license that is expired, and they could not drive if they had a valid license anyways, and they don't want to get renewed because the state might take away their expired card and give them an ID card instead, and they would feel bad if this happened? Huh? Are you kidding me?
John Kysylyczyn April 09, 2012 at 05:27 AM
Ah, that is what the state has. More revenue received than was budgeted for and all expenditures have been met.


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