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ST. PAUL – State Representative Bob Gunther (R-Fairmont) said he was disappointed that a bill requiring photo identification in order to vote was defeated in a Minnesota House committee.
“Requiring a photo identification at the polling place is just good common sense,” Gunther said. “People are forced to use it if they write a check or even swipe their credit card, so why wouldn’t we consider photo ID to make our elections more legitimate?”
Gunther said the legislation was modeled after an Indiana law that has been upheld by the courts.
For those few who do not have a driver’s license, a measure within the bill would have provided that voter with free photo identification, and would have created a process for people without photo ID to cast provisional ballots.
The legislation failed to win approval in the House State and Local Government Operations Reform, Technology and Elections Committee, despite the testimony of several Minnesota voters and election judges who witnessed ballots being cast under questionable circumstances during this past election. Nearly all Democrats opposed the provision, all Republicans favored it.
Gunther said Minnesota’s current U.S. Senate race fiasco only strengthened the need for photo ID on Election Day.
“Apparently this recount uncovered that twenty five Minnesota precincts had more ballots cast than voters,” Gunther noted. “I’d say that’s a pretty big reason to want to improve Minnesota’s election system.”
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