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MN Voter ID Amendment Fails: 'Vote No' Wins

With most ballots in, Yes votes were mired well below the 50 percent needed to change the Minnesota Constitution.

Minnesota voters rejected a constitutional amendment Tuesday that would have required them to show photo ID before they cast their ballots.

It was past 1:30 a.m. Wednesday when the Associated Press called the ballot question for the Vote No forces.

At 1:45 a.m., with 87.47 percent of precincts reporting, the Minnesota Secretary of State estimated that yes votes were 45.74 percent of all ballots cast.

Update (Wednesday, 3:30 p.m.). Unofficial results now show these results:

  • "Yes" votes: 1,362,879
  • "No" votes: 1,536,296
  • Blank responses (estimated): 41,647
  • Estimated total number of votes: 2,940,822
  • Estimated percentage of "Yes" votes: 46.34 percent

The ballot measure needed more than 50 percent to pass.

Growing Optimism
Earlier in the long evening, with about 675,000 ballots counted, Our Vote Our Future spokesman Eric Fought said, "We're optimistic" about the Vote No chances.

He added, "It could tighten up a little bit. We want to see more [results] come in from some other places in the state."

Did he expect to see significant differences in how people in different areas of the state voted?

"Not really. A lot of folks in the [Twin] Cities and Duluth moved earlier [to a Vote No position]," Fought said. "But people in Greater Minnesota are really concerned about the amendment."

Fought said the recent movement in polls toward the Vote No position reflected undecided voters making decision as Election Day neared.

Fewer than 26,000 voters who cast the first 675,000 ballots counted left the Voter ID question blank. Fought chalked that up to two high-profile amendments on the ballot—"and both on the front side of the ballot," he noted.

The Vote No party in St. Paul was picking up steam, Fought said, after Gov. Mark Dayton (D) made an early appearance. "[Former Republican Gov. Arne] Carlson is here right now," he said. "People are excited, but cautious."

'Blend' Wanted
State Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer (R-Big Lake) learned about the first results in the Voter ID amendment referendum when Patch called her at about 9 p.m.

"It's absolutely, way too early," Kiffmeyer said then. She said the urban counties of Hennepin and Ramsey would have low support for voter ID, while support would be higher in the suburbs. "You at least want a blend" of results from those kinds of counties," she said.

Her watchword for evaluating Voter ID returns: "Wait."

But after five more hours, the Vote Yes cause was lost.

"The people of Minnesota are smart," said Our Vote Our Future's Fought in a 3 a.m. email. "For the past six months amendment proponents had the opportunity to convince voters that this was necessary. They failed to do so. There were far too many costs, consequences and questions left unanswered."

Markus November 10, 2012 at 01:39 PM
"Obama failed to win ANY states with photo ID laws for voters, but he did win all the swing states which do not require voter ID." http://guardianlv.com/2012/11/election-results-for-obama-show-a-disturbing-trend-see-video/ You can draw your own conclusions.
Ray November 10, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Obama won all states where gay marraige is legal. You can draw you own conclusions.
rob_h78 November 10, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Yes, voter suppression does work which is why Republicans are continuing to push it - they know that they cannot win on an even playing field. But then again only two states that Obama won in 2008 turned in 2012. Here's a fun fact. Fox Business News posted a story about the Best and Worst Educated States: http://www.foxbusiness.com/personal-finance/2012/10/15/americas-best-and-worst-educated-states/ After the election if you compare these states to who voted for Obama you find that Best Educated States all voted for Obama. And Romney won all of the Worst Educated States (with the exception of Nevada) http://www.happyplace.com/19076/election-infographic-shows-most-educated-states-voted-for-obama You can draw your own conclusions.
Dee November 10, 2012 at 04:26 PM
"Obama failed to win ANY states with photo ID laws for voters," This is wrong. Michigan, New Hampshire, Hawaii, and Florida have a photo ID law and he won those states.
Dee November 10, 2012 at 04:29 PM
and he also won in states that have non-photo voter ID requirements, ie, Ohio, Virginia, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island, and Washington.

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