The Minnesota House gave final approval to a bill requiring voters to show photo IDs at the polls Saturday afternoon, sending it to Gov. Mark Dayton's desk.
The bill passed 74-58 on a largely party line vote over the objections of DFL lawmakers, who said the bill will hinder some groups from voting. The vote was originally slated for Friday, but it was delayed amid transparency complaints.
In addition to requiring photo identification, the bill eliminates vouching for Election Day registration and creates an entirely new system of provisional balloting.
After a slight dustup on Friday, Sponsor Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer said Saturday she was informed the conference committee was held within the rules.
Dayton has not said whether he will veto, but repeatedly notes he wants any election law changes to have bipartisan support. Only two DFLers voted for the bill on first passage.
Dayton's stance may not matter in the end. Republicans have already teed up a bill that would put the issue on the ballot in 2012 -- bypassing the governor. Eighty percent of Minnesotans say they support photo ID requirements, according to a recent Star Tribune poll.
Republicans say they are improving the integrity of Minnesota's election system. Democrats contend the requirement for voters to have a Minnesota photo ID with their current address in the precinct will hinder college students, minorities and seniors from voting.
"This is a bad bill... And we are doing bad things to the best election system that exists anywhere in this country," said Rep. Ryan Winkler, DFL-Golden Valley.
Winkler said that using $1 million of Help America Vote Act money to fund the bill would take away resources for updating the state's voter registration system. Keeping that system updated, he noted, is important during redistricting years such as 2011 when people are shifted around to new districts.