Senator Scott Newman (R- Hutchinson) is an author of a bill to amend Minnesota’s constitution to require voters to have a state issued photo ID. At a news conference about the bill today he said:
“There are a number of states that have voter ID laws already in place. To the best of my knowledge this is the first time a Governor has vetoed a voter ID bill.
“To Mr. Kessler’s question about why do we need this, to be real honest I’m not buying into this notion that there isn’t any voter fraud out there. I’m buying into the notion that we don’t know and this is certainly gonna be something that will help us find out whether or not it occurs or at least be a deterrent. ”
Newman’s claim about no prior vetoes on this issue is not even remotely true. It’s happened at least six times. The latest was just last month.
In May, Montana Governor Jim Schweitzer vetoed voter photo ID legislation. Just like Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton, Governor Schweitzer said the bill would have placed an unnecessary burden on low-income, elderly, disabled and student voters.
While governor of Kansas, Kathleen Sebelius vetoed a Voter ID bill on May 19, 2008.
Think Progress reported at the time: Today, Kansas Gov. Kathleen Sebelius (D) vetoed a bill that would require voters starting in 2010 to show identification at the polls. In her veto message, she said, “[N]o elected official should support enacting new laws discouraging or disenfranchising any American who has been legally voting for years.” Sebelius added that the bill “seeks to solve a problem of voter fraud which does not exist in our state.”
You need not look any further than Wisconsin to find a Governor who has vetoed a voter photo ID bill. Not once, but twice. Governor Jim Doyle (D) vetoed voter photo ID in 2004 and 2005.