“The defeat of the [Minnesota] voter ID constitutional amendment, along with the [state] Legislature’s flip from Republican to Democratic control, is likely put that issue on indefinite hold. But it won’t end the debate over the need for some changes in state election law.”
A lot of news Tuesday night, and oddly the presidential and senatorial races plus marriage equality and marijuana decriminalization initiatives got more attention than this. (Ha!)
But it’s worth noting that Minnesota’s Voter ID ballot initiative failed approximately 54 to 46 percent. In light of the fact that voter ID requirements generally are supported by upwards of 75 percent of the population, this was a huge win for voting rights activists. It just goes to prove that when you explain the issue and fight for the vote, you can win.
Tangent: the “voter ID requirements generally are supported by upwards of 75 percent of the population” is based off how questions are asked and how you’re educating people. I wonder what the polling would be if I said “do you support a requirement that journalists only report on facts and do not let personal judgement influence reporting” I’d get better than “75 percent of the population,” even though it’s a totally ridiculous thing to say.
The defeat of Voter ID in Minnesota was partially about actual education of the issue (and that there isn’t really any significant voter fraud) but a lot of it was scaring people about the costs of Voter ID as well as telling people the initiative was half-assed and not fleshed out properly. Both of which are totally true things but didn’t really educate people on why voter ID is totally dumb to begin with – let alone an initiative by a powerful group of people to help keep their imbalance of power.
Next step in Minnesota isn’t to put these “issue[s] on indefinite hold,” but to start expanding the rights. Next step is to expand the right to marry and to take initiatives to expand voting accessibility to strive towards 100% turnout.