Activists in Mpls. rally against voter ID amendment

Rally against voter ID
About 200 people marched through South Minneapolis on Sunday, Aug. 26, 2012, in opposition of a proposed constitutional amendment that would require voters to show a photo ID at the polls.
MPR Photo/Conrad Wilson

MINNEAPOLIS -- About 200 people marched through parts of South Minneapolis on Sunday to voice opposition to a proposed constitutional amendment that would require voters to show a valid ID at the polls.

Minneapolis Park Board President John Erwin says the amendment would disenfranchise some voters.

"What's wrong with just keeping the system the way it is?" Erwin said. "What is wrong, and why is it broken? When Minnesota has such good voter turnout and we lead the nation in this effort. So I don't understand the justification."

Backers of the proposed voter ID amendment say that since most voters already hold a driver's license or passport, showing a photo ID at the polls is an easy, necessary way to deter voter fraud. Those without a photo ID could get one free of charge from the state.

Minneapolis resident Darleen McPhersen, though, says the poor and elderly would be hurt if the amendment passes.

"It's important for all people to have the right to vote," McPhersen said, "and we're going back to the pre-civil rights era of the '60s if we let this pass."

The Minnesota Supreme Court is expected to rule any day on a lawsuit aimed at striking the voter ID constitutional amendment from the statewide ballot in November.

MPR's Tim Pugmire contributed to this report.

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