A new bill has gone through the senate that requires a government-valid photo ID when voting, to help prevent against voting fraud. Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka said, “People want to make sure that the election process is fair, that they can trust it.”
After the 2016 presidential election, voter fraud has come under fire again by Republicans. A constitutional amendment that would require a voter to have a valid photo ID to vote failed in 2012, 52% to 46%. Republicans are hopeful that they can get the change pushed through this time, not as a constitutional amendment, but as a ballot measure.
Voter fraud was described as an “Isolated” and “Contained” issue by Democrat Secretary of State Steve Simon. Democrat Governor Tim Walz advised Republicans to leave the topic alone. During his rebuke, Walz said, “It’s not going anywhere and they know it”, and that the proposition is “A solution looking for a problem.”
DFL Minority Leader Jeff Hayden said that a requirement to show a photo ID was a strategy that went back to the Jim Crow South. While voicing his opposition to the idea, he said “Dare I say I think it’s racist”.
A new study by professors from Yale, Stanford, and the University of Pennsylvania challenges the notion that voter ID laws disproportionately affect minorities.
The study finds “no definitive relationship” between tough laws requiring voters to present identification and a dropoff in Hispanic, black, and another minority turnout.