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Voter ID bill approved by MN Senate faces uphill battle in House

ST. PAUL — Both State Sen. Gary Dahms, R-Redwood Falls, and Sen. Bill Weber, R-Luverne, lauded a voter ID bill that was approved by the Republican-controlled Minnesota Senate on Monday. However, it’s unlikely to receive the same reception in the Democratic-controlled House.

The bill passed the Senate 34-32, with votes falling along party lines.

The legislation calls for Minnesotans to present a valid photo identification for in-person, absentee, and mail-in voting. The bill also establishes a new voter identification card that would be available free of charge to individuals who lack proper identification and cannot afford it. The bill would make Minnesota the 37th state to require some form of identification to vote.

“There is a reason that voter ID is so overwhelmingly popular: it is a common-sense, easy way to restore credibility, integrity, and security in the elections process,” Dahms said. “Millions of Americans are now lacking trust in our system. This is one of the fastest and easiest ways we can restore their faith and protect the rights of all legal voters.”

In his press release, Dahms cited a recent Rasmussen survey which found 75% support for voter ID. “We want all eligible Minnesota voters to vote, and we want their votes to count,” Weber said. “Photo IDs have become unavoidable in daily life. Minnesotans can’t travel, cash a check, or drive without one. In 2021, it is not an unreasonable requirement to require an ID to vote in order to protect the integrity of our elections.”

A companion bill in the House has not received any committee hearings. There are just two weeks left in the session, with budget work expected to occupy nearly all of that time.

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