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Photo ID amendment passes Senate, heads to voters

Posted by: Rachel E. Stassen-Berger under Minnesota campaigns, Minnesota legislature, National campaigns, Democrats, Republicans Updated: April 4, 2012 - 4:39 PM

The debate over Minnesota's voting system now moves to the voters, with a possible stopover in court.

The Republican-controlled Minnesota Senate voted 35-29 to approve the bill Wednesday to approve a proposed constitutional amendment that would significantly change Minnesota's voting system. It would require all voters at the polls to show a photo ID, would create a new system of provisional voting, would stiffen eligibility requirements for registration and would state that the only acceptable ID's are "government-issued."

The measure passed the Republican-controlled House after midnight Tuesday on a party-line vote, with Republicans supporting it.

It now goes on the Nov. 6 ballot, where voters will decide whether to cement the proposed changes into the Minnesota Constitution.

All speakers in the Senate made it clear they expect court challenges. The sponsor, Sen. Scott Newman, R-Hutchinson, explained that his "legislative intent" is to follow a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that upheld Indiana's photo ID law.

The bill passed with all Republican votes, as has been the case at every committee and floor vote this year. One Republican, Sen. Jeremy Miller of Winona, joined DFL members in voting "no."

Here's the roll call on the Senate vote: 4-4-12 4-22-46 PM

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