Editorial - Confused about voter ID?Many voters are confused about the two proposed amendments to the Minnesota Constitution that they will see on the ballot on Election Day. The information that’s floating around out there about the voter ID amendment is especially conflicting.
Many voters are confused about the two proposed amendments to the Minnesota Constitution that they will see on the ballot on Election Day.
The information that’s floating around out there about the voter ID amendment is especially conflicting. Each side of the issue has its own set of facts about what the amendment will do, or won’t do, how much it will cost or not cost, what impact or non-impact it will have on same-day registration and other issues.
Just when voters think they have it straight in their heads, they’ll hear or see something else that challenges that opinion – from a TV ad, an e-mail sent from a friend, or something they heard from a “reliable” source.
The newspaper has received more than a few requests to list the exact words that will be on the ballot and how the amendments would change the Constitution. Here are the facts:
Amendment 1 concerns the definition of marriage: Here is how the question will appear on the ballot: “Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to provide that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota?”
If this passes, the following would be added to the Minnesota Constitution: Article XIII, Sec. 13. “Only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota.”
Amendment 2, dealing with voter identification, is worded as follows: “Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to require all voters to present valid photo identification to vote and to require the state to provide free identification to eligible voters, effective July 1, 2013?”
If this passes, the following would be added to the Minnesota Constitution: Article VII, Section 1. “All voters voting in person must present valid government-issued photographic identification before receiving a ballot. The state must issue photographic identification at no charge to an eligible voter who does not have a form of identification meeting the requirements of this section. A voter unable to present government-issued photographic identification must be permitted to submit a provisional ballot. A provisional ballot must only be counted if the voter certifies the provisional ballot in the manner provided by law. All voters, including those not voting in person, must be subject to substantially equivalent identity and eligibility verification prior to a ballot being cast or counted.”
One thing to keep in mind: If you decide not to vote on an amendment, it counts the same as a “no” vote.
Instead of accepting the alleged facts from one side of the issue or the other, voters should take the time to weigh the contrasting views of the proposed amendments, decide for themselves which argument makes the most compelling case, and then vote accordingly. That’s a lot better than showing up at the ballot ill-prepared, confused or misinformed.