MN Voter ID Battle Heats Up: Does Zellers Have Enough Votes?

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Tuesday at 10:15 a.m., the Minnesota House’s Government Operations and Elections Committee will hear the issue of Voter ID, as part of Mary Kiffmeyer’s HF210, which Republicans are pushing in the State Capitol this winter. If the GOP gets its way, citizens would need to present a form of picture identification before receiving a ballot. Last Friday, Republican House Majority Leader Kurt Zellers told reporters how he’s confident the newly GOP-controlled body can pass a Voter ID law “with 80-90 votes” including some Democratic support, even though — as journalists pointed out — no Democrats have said they’ll cross the aisle.

Despite little evidence of voter fraud in Minnesota and nationwide elections, Zellers’ party wants legislation that would force voters to bring photo identification with them on election day — though that appears to violate the religious beliefs of Native Americans (of which Minnesota boasts a large population) and would hinder other minority groups and transient college student populations.

Jacob Wheeler

In addition to shooting videos for The UpTake, Jacob Wheeler is a contributing editor at the progressive political magazine In These Times, publishes the Glen Arbor Sun in his native Michigan, and authored "Between Light and Shadow," a recent book about the Guatemalan adoption industry. Wheeler's stories have appeared in such magazines as the Utne Reader, Earth Island Journal, Rotarian and Teaching Tolerance magazine, and newspapers including the San Francisco Chronicle and Christian Science Monitor. He speaks fluent Spanish, German and Danish.

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