Tremendous costs are no longer weighing down legislation that would require voters to show IDs at the polls, according to a recent fiscal analysis.
The Voter ID bill was originally projected to cost the state more than $37 million over four years, which made it fairly unattractive to lawmakers grappling with a $5 billion budget deficit. Those expenses were the result of a requirement that all precincts obtain costly, broadband-capable ID scanners.
But a new version of the bill makes those scanners optional and shifts their cost to the local governments. New pricetag? Nearly $9 million over four years.
A lot of that money goes to public education campaigns (media buys), software installation and broadband fees. The fiscal note says "no new revenues are to be collected under this bill."
Common Cause Minnesota, which opposes the bill, said via Twitter that the new fiscal note was underestimating the true financial impact. They say the legislation would cost the state more than $25 million, pointing to other states where the voter education campaign and generating free identification for voters was expensive.
The bill's progress has slowed substantially in recent weeks, but the Senate Transportation Committee will hear it tomorrow at 1 p.m.
The fiscal note is below: