Photo Voter ID Author Flunks Fact Check: Law Has Been Vetoed Six Times Elsewhere

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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.

Oklahoma’s Governor Brad Henry (D) vetoed voter photo ID legislation in 2009.

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell vetoed voter photo ID legislation in 2006.

New Hampshire Governor John Lynch made voter photo ID his first veto of 2006.

Thank you to BlueStem Prairie for alerting us to the story. See a legislative video clip you think should be posted? email or send us a twitter message @uptakemn .

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. More about Michael McIntee »

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