MN Supreme Court Steps Into Voter Photo ID Battle

Protests Over the voter photo ID constitutional amendment which passed the Minnesota legislature this spring

Protests Over the voter photo ID constitutional amendment which passed the Minnesota legislature this spring

Minnesota’s Supreme Court has agreed to hear a petition that could remove from the fall ballot an amendment requiring a government issued photo ID to vote.

The reason? That last sentence just told you something important about the amendment that the ballot question does not. The amendment requires a government issued photo ID. The question that goes before the voter says a valid photo ID. That’s one of six points the Minnesota ACLU, the League of Women voters, Common Cause and other petitioners say makes the ballot question misleading.

The Court has agreed to hear oral arguments on the case on Tuesday July 17 at 1:30pm. The court is moving fast because it would need to make a ruling before the ballots are printed for the November 6 election.

The Minnesota legislature passed the Republican-authored constitutional amendment earlier this year without a single DFL (Democratic Farmer Labor Party) vote. Governor Mark Dayton, a Democrat, vetoed the bill. But his veto was only symbolic since constitutional amendments do not require a Governor’s signature to go on the ballot.

“This case will decide whether legislators can legally mislead and deceive voters,” said Mike Dean, Executive Director of Common Cause Minnesota. “Voters should be concerned about what legislators are not telling them in this question,” Dean said.

The letter from Chief Justice Lorie Gildea ordering the hearing can be found here.

Michael McIntee

Michael McIntee is a former network TV news executive with more than 30 years of broadcasting experience. He began his broadcasting career at the University of Minnesota's student radio station. He is an expert producer, writer, video editor who has a fondness for new technology but denies that he is a geek.

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