Also on the ballot this year are two constitutional amendments to the Minnesota constitution on the ballot. These are,
- The Minnesota Marriage Amendment
- The Minnesota Voter Identification Amendment
What is the Minnesota Voter Identification Amendment?
Currently, voters in Minnesota do not have to present any form of identification to vote. As long as you are registered to vote, then you can arrive at your polling place, and cast your vote.
The Minnesota Voter Identification Amendment seeks to change this, and require all voters to present valid photo ID before voting.
[If you are not currently registered to vote, you may register to vote at least 20 days before the election by register to vote by completing a registration form, or you can register to vote at your polling place on the day of the election by bringing appropriate identification - here's how to register in advance and on election day.]
Check if you are registered to vote here. If you have moved, or changed your name, or are new to the state, you will need to update your registration, or register to vote. And where is your polling place? Where should you vote? Find where to cast your vote here.
The Minnesota Voter Identification Amendment wants to change the constitution so that all voters must present valid photographic identification before voting. The amendment also includes that the State of Minnesota must provide free photographic identification cards to any voters who do not have a photo ID. It also will permit voters who don't have photo ID to vote and submit a provisional ballot. The provisional ballot will then be counted if the voter can provide a photo ID.
The Minnesota Voter Identification Amendment would also end the process of "vouching", where another voter can vouch for another unregistered voter with a signed oath, enabling the unregistered voter to vote in the election.
Here's the full text of the proposed amendment.
The text of the Minnesota Voter Identification Amendment, as it will appear on the ballots, is this,
"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?
A vote of Yes would be a vote in support of changing the constitution, and require all voters to present valid photo identification before voting. Supporters of the amendment argue that this will improve election integrity, and reduce voter fraud.
A vote of No would be a vote against the amendment, and not change the constitution. The voting procedure in Minnesota would not be changed, and voters will be able to vote without presenting photo ID. Opponents of the amendment argue that voter fraud is very rare in Minnesota, and that requiring voters to present photo ID will make it harder for many people to exercise their right to vote. Minorities and seniors, two groups who are less likely to have a valid photo identification, are most likely to be affected.
What will happen if you don't vote on the Minnesota Voter Identification Amendment?If you choose not to vote on the Minnesota Voter Identification Amendment, then your vote will be counted as a No vote.
Q: Is it true that if I don't vote on a constitutional amendment, it is the same as a "no" vote? A: Yes, that is true. Constitutional amendments by law must be passed by a majority of all of the voters who vote on Election Day. Therefore, if you don't vote on this question the effect is the same as a "no" vote.
Where can I get more Information from Supporters and Opponents of the Amendment?Many organizations support, and many oppose the Minnesota Voter Identification Amendment.
The leading group opposing the Minnesota Voter Identification Amendment is the American Civil Liberties Union, ACLU.
The Minnesota Voter Identification Amendment is supported by Senator Scott Newman, the author of the bill to amend the constitution.
What else will be on the ballot in Minnesota in 2012?Minnesota residents will be voting for their choice of,
U.S. President and Vice President,
Plus local offices which will vary by city and district. The full list of what will be on your ballot can be found at the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State's website.