People For the American Way Foundation

Fight over voter ID heating up in Minnesota

The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota along with the League of Women Voters Minnesota, Common Cause Minnesota, Jewish Community Action, and five Minnesota voters have challenged an amendment to the Minnesota constitution (HF 2738, sponsored by ALEC State Chairwoman Mary Kiffmeyer) because it would confuse some voters into believing that prohibited forms of identification, such as student or company ID, would be accepted. The plaintiffs argue that the amendment is “misleading and false” because the ballot language references “valid photo identification” while the amendment uses the phrase “government-issued.”

With oral arguments in the case set for July 17, several prominent Minnesotans have joined the fray, including former Presidential candidate, Vice President, and US Senator Walter Mondale:

Minnesota has the best record of openness, of honesty, of voter participation, of any state in the union. This is a clean, solid, exemplary state. This constitutional amendment is designed to discourage voting.

And former Governor Arne Carlson:

“It comes from the Koch brothers,” said Carlson, referring to David and Charles Koch, owners of Koch Industries and major funders of a number of conservative causes nationally.

“This is an outside force, coming to Minnesota, telling us how our Constitution ought to be designed,” added Carlson.

Mondale and Carlson will help lead the Our Vote Our Future coalition against the ballot measure, which University of Minnesota student research has cautioned “will fundamentally change the state’s election system.”

For more information, check out The Right to Vote under Attack: The Campaign to Keep Millions of Americans from the Ballot Box, a Right Wing Watch: In Focus report by PFAW Foundation.


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