Updated 9:30am 4/5/12: The voter ID question is now in the hands of the electorate. by a 35-29 vote, the state Senate approved sending a proposed constitutional amendment to voters this November. If Minnesotans approve it, voters in future elections will have to show a state-issued photo identification to vote.
The measure would also set up a complex system of "provisional ballots" to handle voters who register on election day or who vote absentee. Opponents say many of these voters would not follow through with the required steps to make their votes count.
Original Story: The Minnesota Senate takes up the controversial "Voter ID" bill today for what could be the last time.
The bill, if approved today, would place a constitutional amendment before voters in November's general election. The Senate and the House had previously approved different versions of the measure. The state House of Representatives approved a new version of measure late Tuesday night, the same one the Senate is voting on today.
Southwest Minneapolis' state Sens. Scott Dibble and Ken Kelash have hit out at the bill numerous times, calling it "a popularity contest for who gets to enjoy freedom."
"Just because it's a constitutional amendment doesn't make it constitutional," said Dibble earlier this year. "No-one has the right to bar anyone from a vote. Despite claims to the contrary and the false evidence that's provided, proponents of this legislation have not made the case and the evidence is abundant that people will be kept from voting if this legislation is passed."
"We brought a statutory plan last year to the governor and he vetoed it," said amendment supporter Sen. Julianne Ortman (R-Chanhassen). "But we think it's so important that we'll bring it to the voters."