August 28, 2012

August 28, 2012 | Commentary on Elections

Minnesotans Will Vote on Voter ID

The Minnesota supreme court decided yesterday that a referendum approved by the state legislature to amend the state constitution to require voter ID will also be on the ballot in November. The League of Women Voters had tried to convince the court that the people of Minnesota should not be allowed to decide this issue for themselves.

The court held that the petitioners were “not entitled to this unprecedented relief.” The League argued that the ballot question was “so unreasonable and misleading as to be a palpable evasion of the constitutional requirement to submit the law to a popular vote.” But the court rejected the claim that the difference between “valid government-issued photographic identification” and “valid photographic identification” was “unreasonable and misleading.”

The court also rejected the League’s contention that the ballot question was misleading because it says that “all voters” would be required to present ID when the amendment requires only those voting in person to do so. The court noted, however, that the referendum says absentee voters will be subject to “substantially equivalent identity and eligibility” requirements.

So chalk up another court victory for foes of voter fraud. When it comes to the litigation battle over voter ID, opponents have one of the worst won-loss records in the major leagues.

— Hans von Spakovsky is a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation and the former counsel to the assistant attorney general for civil rights at the Justice Department.

About the Author

Hans A. von Spakovsky Manager, Election Law Reform Initiative and Senior Legal Fellow
Edwin Meese III Center for Legal and Judicial Studies

First appeared in National Review Online's The Corner.