Senate committee advances voter ID bill - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Senate committee advances voter ID bill

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ST. PAUL/ROCHESTER (KTTC) -- A bill that would require voters to show a photo ID at the polls is making its way to the Senate floor.

The Senate Rules Committee approved the bill Wednesday afternoon.

The House passed a companion bill early Wednesday morning, 72 to 62.

The proposed constitutional amendment is now halfway to a spot on the November ballot.

Some Republicans believe the bill would help protect against voter fraud.

"Why not make sure that all the people in Minnesota know that their vote really means something... that putting their ID forward and saying who they are really means something," Rep. Joyce Peppin, R-Rogers, said.

Other Republicans says it's more about modernization of the voting system.

But Mark Krupski, director of Olmsted County Property Records and Licensing, says it could slow down the voting process.

Voters without a proper ID would cast a provisional ballot.

"They'll be allowed a number of certain days, depending on what the statute states, to come in and present that ID and it'll depend on how many people are affected, then how close the actual race is, whether that will delay certifying the results," Krupski said.

In Olmsted County, many seniors and people with disabilities do not have drivers licenses.

"We're accustomed in a state like this where we can show up and show some proof of where we live and our address and if you are registered you can come into the polls and vote that day. I think they're concerned about the process becoming more difficult and really making it harder for them to vote," said Connie Bagley, executive director of Agency on Aging.

If a student's drivers license has one address, but his/her billing address has another, that could also pose a problem.

Governor Mark Dayton vetoed the idea last year but this time if the Republican-controlled Senate approves it, it bypasses the governor and goes straight to the voters.

The bill will be brought to the Senate floor on Friday.

If the Senate bill passes, a conference committee will most likely have to work on an agreement between the Senate and House versions before it's brought to the polls in November.

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