(PresidentialWire.com)- Minnesota is on its way to becoming the next state to protect voters’ rights with a new law.
The state Senate, which is controlled by Republicans, passed a bill recently that will require voters to show photo identification when they go to vote. The bill passed along party lines, 34-32.
The bill faces an uphill battle to be passed into law, though. That’s because Democrats control the Minnesota House of Representatives. Governor Tim Walz is also opposed to the law.
In Minnesota, voter ID laws are nothing new. The state has actually considered legislation that would enhance voting security in the past. In fact, in 2012, voters themselves rejected a constitutional amendment that would have required photo IDs for voters when they go to the polls.
The measure last year was introduced by state Senator Scott Newman. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, though, the measure got pushed back until this year.
Newman says he believes people in Minnesota want this new law because they are very concerned about the potential for voter fraud. He said:
“There are millions of voters across this nation that are losing faith that their vote counts. I have a computer file full of emails from voters and constituents across the state of Minnesota that are literally begging for us to go forward with this voter ID bill.”
Those on the other side of the aisle say that voter fraud isn’t something that actually happens. State Senator Lindsey Port, of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, said:
“The myth of voter fraud and the resulting push of restrictive legislative proposals is unacceptable. We should be doing work to solve actual problems instead of imposing policies that place deliberate barriers in place of people exercising their right to vote.”
State Senator Nick Frentz, also of the DFL, agreed, saying:
“This bill makes it harder for Minnesotans to vote. We should not do things that make it harder to vote. People want to vote.”
This debate between protecting voter security and disenfranchising voters has been going on since the 2020 presidential election. With claims of voter fraud rampant across the country, Republicans have pushed hard to enhance voting security laws.
The first major legislation was passed in Georgia, which is led by an all-Republican legislature as well as a Republican governor. Other Republican-led states have followed suit with similar measures.
Not surprisingly, Democrats have fired back, saying that these laws do nothing to actually protect voter security. Rather, they claim, they just make it harder for certain people to vote — people who are likely to vote Democrat, of course.
In Democrat-led states, legislatures have actually tried to pass new voter laws of their own that would expand features such as early voting and mail-in voting. They want to make these things permanent, rather than just a one-year thing due to the pandemic.
The battle between these two camps of thinking is likely to continue over the next few years, leading up to the 2022 midterm elections. The inconsistency from state to state could cause even more friction, and another contested election, in the future, too.