The photo ID amendment failed the ballot-box test Tuesday night, but the chief sponsor is planning to call the opponents' bluff when they called on voters to "send it back" to the Legislature.
Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, who was elected to a state senate seat Tuesday night, said the defeat of the photo ID constitutional amendment Tuesday does not end the debate. The amendment, based on a concept once supported by 80 percent of state's voters, fell well short of passage.
With nearly all precincts reporting, the photo ID amendment received 46.4 percent of the vote. It needed to gain a majority of all those voting.
Kiffmeyer credited the loss to "the misinformation about it" from opponents, to a "very aggressive campaign to get voters to vote no," to a successful appeal to Democrats to oppose it and to a last-minute appeal from former Republican Gov. Arne Carlson and current DFL Gov. Mark Dayton.
She noted that the overriding message from opponents was not to kill the idea, but to "send it back" to the Legislature to allow them to re-work it. That is what she intends to do next year, she said, and she planned to reach out to Dayton on Wednesday to begin the search for common ground.
"What opponents said, it's too expensive, it shouldn't be a constitutional amendment," Kiffmeyer said. "So what I plan to do is take the governor at his word ... let's follow through with what you said. Let's work together in the Legislative area, address any concerns that the governor might have, and put together a bill that I believe accomplishes what people want."
Unlike in the 2011-12 Legislative session, when the GOP controlled both houses, Kiffmeyer will be in the minority in the 2013-14 session, and the DFL will be in control of both houses as well as the governorship.
Kiffmeyer said she does not believe the amendment failed because voters oppose a photo ID requirement. "The campaign to vote no was not about the concept of a voter ID itself," she said, but rather about costs, exceptions and other concerns.
"The big thing here is, people do support photo ID," she said.