GOP rep introduces bills to require voter ID, provisional balloting in Minnesota

Minnesota, Idaho and New Hampshire are the only three states without provisional balloting. 

Steve Drazkowski from Minnesota House. Background image from Unsplash.

A Republican lawmaker introduced two bills during Thursday’s special session to restore “safety and security” to Minnesota’s elections system.

The bills, carried by Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, would require voters to present photo identification when voting and establish provisional balloting in the state.

“In recent months, we have seen the need for reforms to our voting process,” Drazkowski said in a statement. “Investigative journalists have uncovered different ways our elections are being exploited, and it is time that we take action. The safety and security of our elections should be a top priority for every legislator. Only through fair elections will the voice of the people be truly represented.”

Under the first bill, those without a Minnesota driver’s license would be able to apply for a voter ID card through the Department of Public Safety. Drazkowski called the bill “simple, easy and sensible.”

“My bill does not exclude anybody from voting. Everyone who is currently an eligible voter would still be able to vote. Furthermore, photo identification is essential in making sure that individuals do not vote fraudulently. Voter ID is just common sense,” he said.

The second bill would establish provisional balloting in Minnesota, which is the practice of segregating the ballots of voters whose registration status is in question. The ballots are only counted after a voter’s registration information is verified.

Minnesota, Idaho and New Hampshire are the only three states without provisional balloting.

“In Minnesota, people can register to vote on Election Day. When individuals register to vote on Election Day, we need a process to determine whether the information they provided is true before their vote is counted. Provisional ballots are the answer, and they are used by 47 states,” said Drazkowski.

“My bill would ensure that the information provided by the voter, such as name and address, is accurate before their ballot is counted. We need to make sure people are providing honest information when they participate in our elections,” he added.