Debate Over Voter ID in Minnesota Extends to Cost

Debate Over Voter ID in Minnesota Extends to Cost

The debate over requiring voters to show photo identification at the polls usually revolves around arguments about whether such laws prevent fraud or impede legitimate access to the polls.

In Minnesota, however, a debate has also emerged over how much implementing such a requirement would cost, with two recently released reports offering very different assessments.

The advocacy group Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota estimates that implementing voter ID could cost the state and counties a combined $36 million - $78 million. The group includes costs such as producing photo IDs, conducting voter education and outreach, the potential need to move to provisional balloting, and the possible shift to electronic rosters for polling places.

A separate report from the Center of the American Experiment comes to a very different conclusion and estimates implementing photo ID in Minnesota will cost less than $3 million, including the cost of producing photo IDs, conducting voter education and outreach, and the potential need to move to provisional balloting. The report adds that photo ID could provide savings, such as increased efficiencies if electronic poll books are used.

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