Senator Newman introduces bill to require photo identification when voting

Senator Scott Newman (R-Hutchinson) has once again introduced a bill that would require Minnesotans to present a valid photo identification for in-person and absentee voting. The bill establishes a new voter identification card free-of-charge to individuals who lack proper identification and cannot afford it. 

Senator Newman also carried the voter ID bill in 2020.

“I believe a voter ID requirement is the only way to truly guarantee the integrity of our elections,” said Senator Newman. “Millions of American citizens believe there was widespread fraud during the last election, and their loss of faith in the integrity of our election system alone justifies incorporating photo ID into our voting system. We must use every tool at our disposal to eliminate all irregularities, inconsistencies, and fraud. In addition we must restore faith in our election system for those voters who no longer believe our system is secure. A voter ID rule promises that every single Minnesotan who wants to participate in the process will be counted and protected — no more, no less.”

The legislation would require voters to produce valid, government-issued photo identification when voting in person or by absentee ballot. Individuals unable to provide valid proof of identity or residence would be able to cast a provisional ballot, affording the voter a period of time in which they could obtain valid identification. Same-day voter registration would also remain intact. 

In the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case Crawford v. Marion County, the Court held that an Indiana law requiring a photo ID to vote did not violate the U.S. Constitution. Specifically, the Court held there are “legitimate state interests” in voting laws requiring photo ID, including deterring, detecting, and preventing voter fraud, improving and modernizing election procedures, and safeguarding voter confidence in elections. Finally, the Court also held that federal law authorizes states to use a photo identification requirement to determine an individual’s eligibility to vote.