By Marisa Wojcik
Dollars expected to help Minnesotans hit hard by the spring floods may be swept away by a Republican initiative to change how you vote.
Representative Ryan Winkler, DFL – Golden Valley, talked to The UpTake about the voter photo identification bill moving through both the House and the Senate this session. A House version of the bill is now approaching a vote on the floor.
The bill started out with “$40 million price tag” said Winkler, because of technological requirements associated with scanning and storing voter registration information. Newer versions of the bill are projected in the $6 million range as broadband scanners and electronic poll books are now optional for Minnesota counties.
The question still left to be answered is: how will Minnesota pay for it?
“We don’t know yet where they’re going to get the money for this,” said Winkler. “There’s some money left in the general fund,” Winkler continued, “[which] we need for flood relief.”
Another possible source includes federal dollars from the Help America Vote Act, which updates the state’s voter roll. “You are actually taking money away from programs that we’re doing now that makes voter fraud less likely and shifting it to a program that would have almost zero impact on voter fraud,” said Winkler. “In addition to the fact that you are using money from flood relief.”
During hearings on the Voter Photo ID Bill (SF 509) Warren Senator Limmer (R-Maple Grove) said his bill would take money out of transportation reserves meant for roads, buses, light rail and other