NO.

A12-0920

STATE OF MINNESOTA IN SUPREME COURT

League of Women Voters Minnesota; Common Cause, a District of Columbia nonprofit corporation; Jewish Community Action; Gabriel Herbers; Shannon Doty; Gretchen Nickence; John Harper Ritten; and Kathryn Ibur, Petitioners, vs. Mark Ritchie, in his capacity as Secretary of State of the State of Minnesota, and not in his individual capacity, Respondent.

BRIEF AND APPENDIX OF AMICUS CURIAE CITY OF SAINT PAUL IN SUPPORT OF PETITIONERS

SARA R. GREWING, No. 0327803 City Attorney GERALD T. HENDRICKSON, No. 0043977 Deputy City Attorney 400 City Hall and Court House 15 West Kellogg Boulevard Saint Paul, MN 55102 Sara.Grewing@ci.stpaul.mn.us (651) 266-8710 Counsel for Amicus Curiae City of Saint Paul

TABLE OF CONTENTS TABLE OF AUTHORITIES . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .. iii 1 1 2 THE GOVERNOR VETOED SECTION 2 OF H.F. 2738 A. B. C. The Particular Title Has Been Vetoed The Particular Question Has Been Vetoed If the Amendment Appears on the Ballot, the Court must Determine How it Is Submitted to the Voters 2 2 4

PRELIMINARY STATEMENT INTEREST OF THE AMICUS ARGUMENT
1.

7

II.

VOTERS WILL BE UNA WARE THAT THE PROPOSED AMENDMENT COULD STRIP CERTAIN CITIZENS OF THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO VOTE A. B. C.

7

Voters Without Current Valid Identification . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Voters Required to Vote via Absentee Ballot The Ballot Question Problem 9 11

III.

BEING UNA WARE OF THE PROVISIONAL VOTING MEASURE, VOTERS CANNOT ACCURATELY WEIGH THE COSTS OF THE PROPOSED AMENDMENT THE BALLOT QUESTION AND PROPOSED AMENDMENT ARE AMBIGUOUS WHICH COULD LEAD TO PRECINCTS INTERPRETING THE MEASUREMENT DIFFERENTLY

11

IV.

12 14 15

CONCLUSION CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE AND SERVICE

1

INDEX TO THE APPENDIX

16

11

TABLE OF AUTHORITIES Constitution and Statutes Minn. Const. art. IV . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Minn. Const. art. IX . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5, 7 Minn. Const. art. V Minn. Stat. § 201.061, subd 3(4) Minn. Stat. § 203B.17 Minn. Stat. § 203B.21 Minn. Stat. § 203B.24 Minn. Stat. § 204B.36 Minn. Stat. § 204B.44 Minn. Stat. § 204D.ll Minn. Stat. § 204D.15 Minn. Stat. § 3.20 1985 Minn. Sess. Law Servo Ch. 72 (H.F. 759) (West) 3 8 9 9 9 6, 7 1 5, 6 2-6 5 9

Breza V. KifJmeyer, 723 N.W.2d 633 (Minn. 2006) State ex reI. Marr V. Stearns, 72 Minn. 200, 75 N.W. 210 (1898) State V. Duluth & HM. Ry. Co., 102 Minn. 26, 112 N.W. 897 (1907)

2, 11

11

2, 11

111

Rules 2011 Minn. R. 8250.0365 Other Authorities Att'y Gen. Op. 213-C (March 9,1994) 4 5

IV

PRELIMINARY STATEMENT The City of Saint Paul submits this brief as amicus curiae to urge the Court to strike the ballot question pertaining to the Voter Identification and Provisional Ballot Amendment, Chapter 167, House File 2738, of the 2012 Session Laws, from the November 2012 election ballot. The Court has original jurisdiction in this action pursuantto Minn. Stat. § 204B.44(a), (b) and (d). See Pet'r's Br. 7. INTEREST OF THE AMICUS The City of Saint Paul ("City") is the capital city of Minnesota, the second largest city in the state, with over 213,000 eligible voters.' At the outset, the City, through its officials with the Ramsey County Elections division, is not empowered to put a vetoed question before the voters. Section 2 of H.F. 2738-which was ordinary legislation directing a vetoed by

particular form of ballot title and question, thereby amending other statutes-was the governor.

The result of the veto was to make ineffective both the title as well as the

question. The City is, therefore, powerless to put the vetoed measure before its voters. In addition, the City opposes the question as worded because it could strip voters of their constitutional right to vote, force the City to spend substantial tax dollars to implement provisional voting programs, and precincts could interpret the confusing and ambiguous

'Pursuant to Minnesota Rule of Civil Appellate Procedure 129.03, Counsel certifies that this brief was authored by Counsel for amicus curiae City of Saint Paul, with the assistance of law clerk Bryan Morben. No person or entity other than the City made any monetary contribution to the preparation or submission of this brief. 1

measure in different ways leading to inconsistent application of which citizens are allowed to exercise their constitutional right to vote. ARGUMENT I. THE GOVERNOR VETOED SECTION 2 OF H.F. 2738. The form and manner of submitting a constitutional amendment to the people is left to the judgment and discretion of the legislature. See State v. Duluth & NM Ry. Co., 102 Minn. 26,112 N.W. 897 (1907); Breza v. KifJmeyer, 723 N.W.2d633, 634n. 2 (Minn. 2006). The legislature exercised its judgment and decided to proceed by way of ordinary legislation on the form and manner of submitting an amendment. Subdivision 2 of H.F. 2738 sought to amend that ordinary legislation, and is thereby subject to the governor's veto. A. The Particular Title Has Been Vetoed.

The legislature proposed the so-called "Photo ID Amendment" through the two houses' enactment ofa bill, H.F. 2738. The bill contained two sections: section 1 was the text of the proposed constitutional amendment; and section 2 contained two subsections directing that a particular form of ballot be submitted to the people. Section 2(a) required a particular question purporting to summarize the proposed amendment. required a particular title. But when the legislature passed H.F. 2738, there was an existing statute (ordinary legislation) governing the subject of ballot titles for constitutional amendments. Minnesota Statute Section 204D.15, subdivision 1 provides, in part: Section 2(b)

2

Titles for constitutional amendments. The secretary of state shall provide an appropriate title for each question printed on the pink ballot. The title shall be approved by the attorney general, and shall consist of not more than one printed line above the question to which it refers. In other words, when H.F. 2738 was passed, there was already a law in the books delegating to the secretary of state and the attorney general responsibility for choosing the title of a constitutional amendment. ordinary legislation-to Section 2(b) of H.F. 2738 was an amendment-by

Minn. Stat. § 204D.l5.

On April 5, 2012, the revisor of statutes presented H.F. 2738 to the governor. A 1. On April 9, 2012, the governor vetoed andreturnedH.F. 2738. A 2 - 4. Before it adjourned,

the legislature did not act to override the governor's veto. Because the governor vetoed this ordinary legislation, section 2(b) has no legal force and effect. The Minnesota Constitution empowers the governor to veto this ordinary legislation. Article IV, section 24 provides: "Each order, resolution or vote requiring the concurrence of the two houses except such as relate to the business or adjournment of the legislature shall be presented to the governor and is subject to his veto as prescribed in case of a bill." The phrase "as prescribed in case of a bill" refers to Article IV, section 23, which provides that "[ e]very bill. . . shall be presented to the governor." The governor has the right to veto a bill and "shall return it with his objections to the house in which it originated." Consistent with these two provisions, section 4 of Article V provides that the governor "shall have a negative upon all laws passed by the legislature, under such rules and limitations as are in

3

this Constitution prescribed." As a result, there can be no question regarding the governor's power to veto the ordinary legislation in section 2(b) ofR.F. 2738. The attorney general confronted this very issue in Opinion 213-C dated March 9, 1994, concerning a bill containing both a constitutional amendment and ordinary legislation. The attorney general opined that the proposed amendment itself could not be vetoed, but that the governor maintained his "constitutional authority" to approve or veto ordinary legislation within the same bill. "Indeed, we can conceive of no rational basis upon which to conclude the constitutional drafters would have intended to permit the legislature to insulate general legislation from exposure to veto simply by including it in a bill containing an amendment proposal. " Since section 2(b) is ordinary legislation, which the governor vetoed and the legislature failed to override that veto, the legislature's effort to amend Minn. Stat. § 204D .15 through § 2(b) is entirely ineffective. If the Court decides that the amendment should appear on the ballot, the secretary of state should provide the title, subject to approval by the attorney general. B. The Particular Question Has Been Vetoed.

The legislature not only purported to designate a particular title to appear on the ballot for the proposed amendment, but also purported to designate a particular question to be posed to the voters. The City is not aware of the origins of the custom of presenting a summary question to the electorate, rather than the text of the amendment itself. In fact, the plain words of the 4

constitution suggest that the amendment itself-not

a legislatively-drafted summary-be

submitted to the people. The second sentence of Article IX, section I commands: "Proposed amendments shall be published with the laws passed at the same session and submitted to the people for their approval or rejection at a general election." amendments shall be. The phrase "Proposed a question go to the

. . submitted" suggests that the amendment itself-not

carefully crafted by the legislative advocates purporting to summarize it-should voters. To the same effect is Minn. Stat. § 3.20, which provides:

Every act for the submission of an amendment to the Constitution shall set forth the section as it will read if the amendment is adopted, with only the other matter necessary to show in what section or article the alteration is proposed. It shall be submitted and voted upon at the next general election as provided by the law relating to general elections[.] In other words, the legislature is to adopt proposed text with reference to articles and sections. How the amendment is to be submitted to the voters is to be governed by "the law relating to general elections," which is found in the detailed statutes that constitute the Minnesota Election Code. The Code expressly grants the secretary of state authority to promulgate regulations, which must be followed by county auditors when they prepare the ballot, and to regulate the form of the ballot for constitutional amendments. See Minn. Stat. §§ 204D.ll, 204D.15,

subd. 2. Pursuant to this statutory grant of authority, the secretary of state has promulgated regulations amendments. regarding the form of the ballot, including for proposed For example, Rule 8250.0365, subpart I provides: 5 constitutional

"The [pink] ballot for

constitutional amendments must be prepared in the same manner as the white ballot, except as provided in this part." How questions are to be submitted to the voters is covered by Minn. Stat. § 204B.36, which suggests that it is the election officials (the secretary of state, in the case of a statewide question), not the legislature acting without the governor, who have authority to prepare the question. Minn. Stat. § 204B.36, subd. 3 directs: "When a question is to be submitted to a vote, a concise statement of the nature of the question shall be printed on the ballot." Because the secretary of state has jurisdiction over the form of the pink ballot, and because state law explicitly confers on the secretary of state the authority to provide the amendment title, it is logical that the secretary of state also has the authority to craft the statutorily-required "concise statement of the nature of the question." Although custom and practice seem to be to the contrary, the important legal issue remains: whether the form of the concise question-as itself-is opposed to the proposed amendment

ordinary legislation subject to a governor's veto. To the City's knowledge, this

issue is a matter of first impression in Minnesota. While there is no case on point, logic dictates that section 2 ofH.F. 2738 as distinct from the amendment itself, was ordinary legislation. Section 2 directs a particular form of ballot title and question, thereby amending Minn. Stat. §§ 204D and 204B.36. Section 2 thereby purports to amend the Minnesota Election Code. Like other ordinary legislation, H.F. 2738 was a bill and was presented to the governor. At least as to section 2, the governor "shall have a negative," which he exercised in his April 5, 2012 veto. The City further 6

submits that the governor's veto is effective not only as to the title, but to the question as well. C. If the Amendment Appears on the Ballot, the Court must Determine How it Is Submitted to the Voters.

If the Court determines that the proposed amendment should appear on the ballot, but that the governor's veto of the legislature's question was effective, the issue arises as to how the amendment should be submitted to the people. Consistent with Minn. Stat. § 204B.36, the Court could leave it to the secretary of state to prepare a "concise question." If the question prepared by the secretary were

unreasonable or misleading, that could be challenged in a court of law. Alternatively, in this case of first impression and in these unusual circumstances, it would be fair and equitable for the Court to order that the full text of the amendment be "submitted" to the people in compliance with Article IX. The text of the amendment could be followed by a neutral question, such as: "Should this proposed amendment to the Minnesota Constitution be ratified?" II. VOTERS WILL BE UNAWARE THAT THE PROPOSED AMENDMENT COULD STRIP CERTAIN CITIZENS OF THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO VOTE. Two main classes of Saint Paul voters are adversely affected by the provisions of the proposed amendment: 1) voters without a valid, government-issued ID card who are not currently registered to vote at their address of residence, and 2) voters who need to vote by using an absentee ballot.

7

A.

Voters Without Current Valid Identification.

There are numerous groups of citizens that do not have a form of government-issued identification that would be valid under the proposed amendment. Some of these groups

include elderly voters who no longer drive, students at private colleges who do not have a Minnesota driver's license, people who do not have a stable residence from which to apply for a driver's license or state ID card, homeless and other individuals with sporadic or no residence at all, and low income persons who cannot afford to obtain a government-issued photo ID. Currently, these voters are permitted to register, vote, and have their ballot counted along with all other ballots cast by using a voucher, as provided in Minn. Stat. § 201.061, subd 3(4). If the amendment is adopted, these voters would be required to cast a provisional ballot or not be allowed to vote at all. In the most recent presidential election, 4,343 Saint Paul residents voted by using a voucher. See E-mail from Joseph Mansky, Ramsey Cnty. Elections Manager (June 8,2012, 11:39 AM) (on file with author).
It is estimated that

approximately 8,000 voters have to use this method in Ramsey County alone. Id. Finally, according to the Minnesota Secretary of State's Office, it is estimated that the proposal would affect nearly 5,300 total voters in Saint Paul and more than 215,000 current voters state-wide. Estimate a/Registered Voters Lacking Valid or Current ID, Office of the Minn. Sec'y of State (Jan. 5,2012), http://www.sos.state.mn.uslindex.aspx?page=1709. These voters will be unable to vote or will be required to vote using a provisional ballot. A provisional voting system is not an effective way to allow citizens to vote, since 8

approximately one-third of provisional ballots cast in states that employ such a system already are never counted. See Petr's Br. 13. Under a similar law in Indiana (which the proposed Minnesota amendment is based upon), only 13% of the provisional ballots cast in the 2008 presidential election were ever counted. See Mansky, 6/18/12 (12:06 p.m.) email (on file with author). Likewise, in Michigan, the state with election laws most similar to Minnesota, only 48% in 2008 and 39% in 2010 of the provisional ballots cast were ever counted. Id. The provisional ballot system simply creates a regime where citizens are

deprived of their constitutional right to vote and have their vote actually counted. B. Voters Required to Vote via Absentee Ballot.

Absentee voting is a challenge for many voters under the best of circumstances. For Minnesotans who find themselves on active duty with the armed forces, or working, volunteering, or studying abroad, the smallest barrier can prove to be an insurmountable obstacle to exercising their right to vote while away from home. The "substantially

equivalent" language of the proposed amendment would revoke the ability of overseas and military voters to self-certify their absentee ballots without having to find an authorized witness to whom the appropriate documents could be shown before voting. See Minn. Stat. §§ 203B.17, subd 2(f), 203B.2l, subd 3(6), 203B.24, subd l. The very reason that the legislature enacted the self-certification methodology in the Laws of 1985, Chapter 72- H.F. No. 759 for voters serving in the armed forces or residing overseas was to eliminate this unnecessary obstacle.

9

In presidential elections, more than 2,000 Ramsey County residents who reside overseas or are serving in the armed forces typically attempt to vote by absentee ballot. See Mansky, 6/18/12 (12:06 p.m.) email (on file with author). In 2008, more than 1,200 Saint Paul voters were in one of these circumstances. Id. These numbers of affected voters, while appearing small at first, have enormous impacts. Multiple important races in Saint Paul have been decided by very narrow margins, including: the 2001 contest for mayor-decided 403 votes; the 2011 contest for council member in ward five-decided 2008 statewide election for U.S. Senator-decided 11: 39 AM). The difficulties of voting by absentee ballot already prevent nearly 20% of these voters from returning a ballot that can be counted. Id. (June 8, 2012, 12:06 PM). This problem is especially acute among voters serving in the armed forces, where nearly 30% of the ballots sent by the Elections Office of Ramsey County are never returned or are returned in a manner that prevents them from being counted. Id. As more procedural hurdles are placed in front of voters that are far removed from the state, the greater the chance that even a small mistake has a catastrophic result. This is magnified by the fact that an absentee voter does not get to participate in the provisional voting process. The effect is to take away from our service members the democratic freedom that they are away fighting for. by

by 36 votes; and the

by a total of312 votes. Id. (June 8, 2012,

10

C.

The Ballot Question Problem.

The ballot question as it is currently worded does not mention provisional ballots or the change to absentee voters. As a result, the proposed amendment will invoke changes to the Constitution that the ballot question does not refer to at all. In fact, the ballot question only refers to a single change the proposed amendment would make: that a photo ID would be required to vote in person. In fact, the question does not even accurately state that issue, as the photo ID has to be government-issued. This issue is more than the ballot question

being fairly worded; it is a problem of the question deceiving voters except for those who divest into the exact wording of the proposed amendment. The "clear and essential purpose of the proposed amendment" is not "fairly expressed in the question submitted." Breza v. KifJmeyer, 723 N.W.2d 633, 636 (Minn. 2006) (quoting State ex rei. Marr v. Stearns, 72 Minn. 200,218, 75 N.W. 210 (1898)). Since the language is "unreasonable and misleading" at best, the question should be struck from the ballot. Id. (quoting State v. Duluth & NM Ry. Co., 102 Minn. 26, 30, 112 N.W. 897 (1907)) (internal quotations omitted). III. BEING UNAWARE OF THE PROVISIONAL VOTING MEASURE, VOTERS CANNOT ACCURATELY WEIGH THE COSTS OF THE PROPOSED AMENDMENT. Since the current ballot question does not inform citizens that those without valid identification will, at best, be subjected to casting a provisional ballot, voters cannot make an educated decision about whether the costs of implementing such a program will outweigh the benefits received from it.

11

In fact, the estimated costs of implementing a provisional voting program in Saint Paul for the 2013-2014 biennium is $207,000. E-mail from Joseph Mansky, Ramsey Cnty. Elections Manager (June 8, 2012, 12:06 PM) (on file with author). The estimated costs for Ramsey County could exceed $1,700,000. See Board of Ramsey County Commissioners, Impact of Proposed Constitutional Amendment Relating to Voting Rights (P 23) Available at co.ramsey.state.mn.us; accessed 6/14/2012. Creating a state-wide system could cost $40 million initially, plus another $3 to 4 million each election year thereafter. Pet'r's Br. 14. These are devastating numbers to deal with in a time of extreme budget crises for many. These costs will undoubtedly be incurred by the voters, who will be voting to

reallocate their taxes to implement a system without even knowing about it. IV. THE BALLOT QUESTION AND PROPOSED AMENDMENT ARE AMBIGUOUS WHICH COULD LEAD TO PRECINCTS INTERPRETING THE MEASUREMENT DIFFERENTLY. There are several different provisions in the proposed amendment that leave the City, and other precincts, to the difficult task of trying to interpret exactly what the legislature meant. This creates the potential problem of different precincts interpreting the measures differently, which may have the effect of allowing substantially similar voters to be allowed to cast a ballot in one location and not another. First, it is not completely clear what exactly qualifies as a "government-issued" ID.
It is obvious that a Minnesota driver's license or state identification card will be valid. It is

not clear whether ID cards issued by the state's colleges and universities-especially institutions-will

private

qualify. It is also questionable whether military ID cards or government 12

issued driver's licenses from other states will suffice. Furthermore, the ballot question only requires "valid photo identification" to vote, which will undoubtedly cause some voters to think that non-government-issued IDs will work.

Second, the proposed amendment is unclear as to how provisional ballots will be certified. This issue needs to be decided before the measure is sent to the voters in order for the City to implement any system, and to protect the constitutional right of citizens who do not have valid identification to cast votes. Finally, the legislature did not define what constitutes "substantially equivalent" verification for those not voting in person. Presumably, absentee voters will need a witness to certify their identification. But different voters may then be subjected to different

identification scrutiny. It is unfair to voters, especially those who this provision will affect, to not include this information in the ballot question. Sending the proposed amendment back to the legislature for clarity would harm no one. The legislature could revise the question to accurately describe the proposed

amendment, or correct the amendment to match the question. On the other hand, the harm to the voters in voting on a question that is ambiguous and leaves out important facts by not accurately describing the proposed changes to the constitution is substantial. A citizen's fundamental right to vote should not be altered or

restricted based upon an amendment that does not clearly define the changes that will be effected or the costs taxpayers will bear.

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CONCLUSION

The City of Saint Paul respectfully urges the Court to find in favor of the Petitioners and send the so-called "Photo ID Amendment" back to the Minnesota Legislature for a lawful veto override and/or further legislative clarification.

Dated: June 18,2012

CITY OF SAINT PAUL

Counsel for Amicus Curiae City of Saint Paul

14

CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE AND SERVICE This brief complies with the work limitations of Minn. R. Civ. App. P. l32.01, subd. 3(a). The brief was prepared using WordPerfect Office 12, which reports that the brief contains 3511 words. I hereby certify that on June 18, 2012, I caused the foregoing brief to be served upon all counsel of record via email and by depositing a true and correct copythereofin the United States mail at Saint Paul, Minnesota, properly enveloped with postage prepaid.

Karin E. Anderson, Paralegal

15

INDEX TO THE APPENDIX April 5, 2012, Presentation ofR.F. 2738 to the Governor April9, 2012, the Governor's Veto and Return ofR.F. 2738, and A1 A2-4

16

OFFICE OF THE REVISOR OF STATUTES
Minnesota Legislature

April 5, 2012 Governor Mark Dayton Office of the Governor 130 State Capitol 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Blvd. St. Paul, MN 55155 Dear Governor Dayton: It has been a long-standing practice of the Office of the Revisor of Statutes, under the direction of the Minnesota Legislature, to present proposed constitutional amendments to the Governor if they are drafted in the form of a bill. Consistent with that long-standing practice, I have asked my staff to deliver Laws 2012, Ch. 167, H.F. 2738 to you for your information. Following your review, please ask your staff to deposit the original document with the Secretary of State. Thank you for your consideration.

df1~,,-Uu£~
l\I~i~teleL. Timmons Revisor of Statutes cc:

Sincerely,

J

-

Sen. Michelle L. Fischbach, President of the Senate Rep. Kurt Zellers, Speaker of the House Cal R. Ludeman, Secretary of the Senate Albin A. Mathiowetz, Chief Clerk of the House Mark Ritchie, Secretary of State

700 State Office Building, 100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd., St. Paul, Minnesota 55155-J.297 Phone: (651) 296-2868 Fax; (651) 296-0569 TTY: 1-800-627-3529

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STATE OF MINNESOTA
Office of Governor Mark Dayton
130 State Capitol+- 75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King
April 9, 2012

Jr; Boulevard

+ Saiut Pa~tl, MN 55155

The H<}norab1eK.utt Zellers Speaker of'the House State Office Buii<ling, Room 463 100 Rev. Dr. Martin LutherKing, Jr. Blvd. St. Pal-II,Min!1esota 5$155 Dear Mr. Speaker! I have vetoed and am returning Chapter 167) House PUe 273&. It woulq amend the Minnesora Constitution, to requite picture identification for citizens to exercise their constitutional right to vote. Although I do not have the power to prevent this unwise and unnecessary Constitutional Amendmentfrom appearing on the Minnesota ballot in, November, the Legislature' has sent it to me in toe form of a bill. Thus, I am exercising my legal responslbility to either sign 01' veto the amendment. I am vetoing the amendment and its Citle; and Jorge Minnesotans to reject it in

November.

For the past two years, Republican legislative leaders have shunned bi-partisan election reforms that would have' increased seclll'ity and modernized. ow: elections processes. When I vetoed the partisan Photo ID bill last session, I called for, and subsequently named, a non-partisan Task Force to examlnethealleged problem of felons votingillegally. However, its proposed legislation was ignored in this session, while this partisan amendment was passed in both bodies by almost straight party-line votes. Legislators had yet another chance to pass oi-partisan legislaHon, which would have established visual verification.of voters. Secretary ofState Mark Ritchie, Members ofhoth panies, and I proposedan alternative, which would have visuallyverified voters, provided improved seeurity, and modernized Minnesota's elections. If the legislative majority really wanted to visually confirm voters' identities at polling places.jnrprove election effi.cienejes, and reduce their costs, that hill presented an ideal opportunity, Unfortunately, real reform was once, again rejected and the chance to medernize and improve O(1r elections .denled, in favor of partisan political gain. This amendment is a proverbtal wolfln sheep's clothing. It goes far beyond its stated intention to require Photo JD's. Instead, it dismantles Minnesota's Best-in-the-Nation election system. According to the Secretary of State, this amendment would endsame dayvorer registration, long a goal of many Republican partisans, and require an entirely new system of provisional balloting. ft would severelyrestrlct absentee voting, mail-in voting, and.ballcttngfor members afoul' Armed Forces and others overseas. Local ejection officials, township offloials, and representatives from the cities and counties have all voiced their concerns and their opposition to many of those changes and the burdens they wouldimpose ..

Voice: (651) 201-MOnOT \800) 657-37l7 Website: h~tp:/ [jl:'overnoq,tate,mn.us

Fax: (651) 797-1850

MNRelay (800) 627-3529 An Equal Opportunity Employer

Pr'dt(:d on recycled paper containing '(5% post wnSUID",r material and state government pJ'.illted

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The Honorable Kurt Zellers April 9. 2012 Page 2

A constitut.ional requirement that "all voters mustbe sllbjected to substantially equivalent identity and eligibility verification:' places barriers to voting OA our sen lars who 110 longer drive, our soldlel'S who vote overseas, and our students who attend colleges and universities away from home; It will make voting much harder fOI" thousands of other eligible voters, who will find it difficult or impossible toattain ;government-issued photo identifications in order-to prove their id¢r1tities. Verifying' eHgibillty will negatively affect any vC(iterwho hasutilized same day registration (over 500,000 in a presidential year), absentee. voters (195,000), Military and overseas voters (11,500), and our mail balloting voteI'8(45,000). Virtually no classof'voter is left unscathed by these exrreinealtesatlons in. our citizens' aseess to their elections. Minnesota's election system has been designed.and pexfected over many years by citizens, legislators, and govetrlol's of aU patties, Theil' success has been affirmed by our usually I~adillg nation in voter participation. It was also uph¢1d, when statewide recounts in the last the two elections showed exceptieua] accuracy and no cvjd«i:1Geof any significant voter fraud. Previous Governors Arne Carlson and Tim PawleHty have said correctly that significant changes to. our elections processes should not occur throllghpartisan contrivances, but only with broad bipattisan support. I stated that same reason for myvetolng last year's legislation. Unfortunately, mostRepublican legislators have chosen to misirse their majorities in both bodies to force-this ill-intended arnendment on Minnesota voters. 1 wiHtnist in their wisdom to reject it.

1.l;.{J~
Governor co: Senator Michelle 1. Fischbach, PreSident of the Senate Senator David H. Senjem, Senate Majority Leader Sen!i.tot Thomas M, Bakk, Senate Minority Leader Senator Scott Newman itepl'esentative Paul Thissen, House Minol'ity Leader RepresentatIve Mary Kiffmeyer The Honorable Mark Ritchie, Secretary of State Mr. Cal It Ludeman, Secretary of the Senate Mr. Albin A. Mathiowetz, Chief Clerk of the House of'Representatives

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Albin A. Mathiowetz
Chief Clerk

April 9,2012

Minnesota House of Representatives
Kurt Zellers, Speaker

Michele Timmons, Revisor Office of Revisor of Statutes 700 State Office Building St. Paul, MN 55155 RE' Governor's Return of Chapter 167

Dear Ms. Timmons: Governor Dayton has vetoed and returned to the House of Representatives Chapter 167, House File No. 2738, an act proposing an amendment to the Minnesota Constitution. Under Joint Rule 2,07 of the Temporary Joint Rules of the Senate and House of Representatives, you with the enrolled copy of chapter 167. Please deposit it with the Office of Secretary of State so that it may be properly placed on the November 2012 general election ballot.

I am providing

As the Governor acknowledged in his letter, dated April 9,2012, he does not have authority to prevent the proposed constitutional amendment from appearing on the ballot. The Minnesota Constitution grants the power to propose constitutional amendments to the voters to a majority of the members of each house of the legislature with no role for the governor Minn. Const. ali, IX § I. This exclusive authority of the legislature has been acknowledged by both the Minnesota' Supreme Court and the Attorney General. Breza v. Kiffmeyer, 723 N,W.2d 633,634, footnote 2 (2006); Minn. Op. Atty. Gen. 213-C (March 9,1994). Sincerely yours,

~

C/f2~~_/-j:.

Albin A. Mathiowetz Chief Clerk xc:

~~g:

Governor Mark Dayton Speaker Kurt Zellers Representative Paul Thissen, House Minority Leader Representative Mary Kiffmeyer Senator Michelle Fischbach, President of the Senate Senator David H. Senjem, Senate Majority Leader Senator Thomas M. Bakk, Senate Minority Leader Senator Scott J, Newman The Honorable Mark Ritchie, Secretary of State
ROOM 211 STATE CAPITOL 55155 FAX: (651) 296-1326

OFFICE:
(651) 296-2314

ST. PAUL, MINNESOTA

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