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Voter ID Amendment: Voice of People Or A Gridlocked Minnesota State Legislature?

State House District 55A candidates Mike Beard and Chuck Berg agreed on the general idea of a voter ID system, but not on the way to develop and implement it.

“Do you support the voter ID amendment and why?” asked moderator Rob O’Neil at the recent state senate and house district candidates forum.

The Brookwood Community Church Pastor posed the question to State House District 55A candidates Mike Beard (R) incumbent and Chuck Berg (DFL). The house candidates participated in a debate separate from the senate candidates. Berg responded first.

“I want good honest elections and I want people to feel that the vote they have is going to be honored, and it’s not going to be spoiled by people that cheat the system,” he said.

While Berg said that he is in favor of some form of a voter ID system, he does not support the amendment. He argued that Governor Mark Dayton and the state legislature should work together to create a law that addresses voter reform.

Berg stated:

“This is where some of the gridlock comes in. We need to get them talking and finding ways to bring forth solutions that are going to work for everyone. I will vote no on this amendment because I believe that it’s time to go back to the state, do it the right way, make it a law, and have good open debate and discussion on it.”

Beard countered, saying that he supports the voter ID amendment. Governor Dayton vetoed a voter ID law in 2011, Beard said. While he would have preferred the law over the amendment, Beard argued that the governor will not support voter reform.

“And so it seemed to make the best sense just to take the concept to the people,” Beard said.

It is the people who write the constitution, Beard said, and the legislature must listen to the voice of the people.

In the next debate, State Senate District 55 candidates Kathy Busch (DFL) and Eric Pratt (R) also gave their positions on the voter ID amendment. Pratt argued that he did not want votes to lose their importance due to fraudulent voting. Busch disagreed, saying that she did not see voter fraud as a problem in Minnesota.

The Shakopee Chamber of Commerce hosted the forum in partnership with Shakopee Public Schools on Oct. 23. The debate was held at Shakopee High School and students from Shakopee Schools had the opportunity to present some of their own questions to the candidates.

Videos of the state house and senate debates are available on the Shakopee Chamber of Commerce YouTube Channel:

As the election nears, what is your opinion of the voter ID amendment? Share in comments.

(Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly described State Senate candidate Eric Pratt as a Democrat. Pratt is a Republican.)

Related: Marriage Amendment Spurs Debate at State House and Senate Candidates Forum

Andrea Parrott October 26, 2012 at 11:46 PM
Thanks for finding that! Changed.
matt lehman October 27, 2012 at 01:18 AM
Make sure YOUR VOTE counts by voting for voter id. If you can read this, it is because a man and women came together in procreation to make you, support the Marriage Amendment. Same sex relationships are civil unions.
Josh D. Ondich October 27, 2012 at 01:50 AM
I was at the debate, When the moderator asked Eric Pratt who do you think should pay their fair share of taxes, Pratt responded that he would support imposing a sales tax on online retail purchases to make online retailers pay taxes like in-store retailers like Best Buy. Both Kathy Busch and Eric Pratt agreed on that.
matt lehman October 28, 2012 at 04:42 AM
Tax rates should be the same across the board with no loop holes, a flat tax if you will. How fair or ethical is it to have different tax rates? 10% of $10,000 is $1000, 10% of $1,000,000 is $100,000. If the rates where the same for all, the richest would pay much more then the poor as the example above shows. For the Democrat party to imply increasing tax rates on the rich when the rich currently pay a higher rate already is nothing short of redistribution of wealth. Socialism does not work, look at Europe. Pratts position best aligns with my opinion, he gets my vote.
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