Two Republican legislators are pushing bills that would require voters to bring photo IDs to the polls. Both bills are slated for a hearing at the House Government Operations and Elections Committee Thursday morning.
The twin bills HF89, authored by Rep. Mike Benson, R-Rochester, and HF210, authored by the former Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer, now a Representative from Big Lake, provide different solutions to the supposed problem of voter fraud. Both bills require voters to show identification, but Kiffmeyer's bill also includes a number of provisions that would move Minnesota toward a computerized voter identification system.
"Kiffmeyer's bill uses modern technology to stop ineligible voters from voting at the polls," says Dan McGrath, head of Minnesota Majority, the conservative group that pushed a poll-watching effort during the last election. "I think we have a lot more problems with elections than just voter IDs."
Kiffmeyer's bill would eliminate the paper voter rosters and replace them with an electronic system that cross-checks a voter's criminal record in order to make sure that felons don't vote.
Minnesota Majority has been the chief force behind the claim that voter fraud is widespread in Minnesota, a contention the Minnesota County Attorneys Association has called frivolous and a drain on public resources.