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Star Tribune front page gets it wrong: overstates Photo ID, other voting requirements

One of Minnesota’s election-year flashpoints is photo ID; Republican-leaning “election integrity” groups want to mandate it for voting, but state law doesn’t require it.
However, a front-page error on the Star Tribune makes it seem like the ID forc

One of Minnesota’s election-year flashpoints is photo ID; Republican-leaning “election integrity” groups want to mandate it for voting, but state law doesn’t require it.

However, a front-page error on the Star Tribune makes it seem like the ID forces have already won. The paper’s “Voting Tips” does not distinguish between registered voters — who need no other ID to vote — and those registering on Election Day. (Update: the Strib has corrected the web version.)

Under the heading “What You Need,” the Strib states:

All that’s required is a legal photo identification card, a utility bill showing a voter’s residence or a signed affidavit from another resident in the voter’s precinct.

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The item makes it seem like all voters need such things, but it’s actually an incomplete version of what same-day registrants need. The complete list of same-day registration options, from the Secretary of State’s website:

To register at your polling place on Election Day, you must bring one of the following with your current name and address to verify your residence in the precinct :

  • A valid Minnesota driver’s license, learner’s permit, Minnesota ID card, or receipt for any of these
  • A valid student ID card including your photo, if your college has provided a student housing list to election officials
  • A Tribal ID card that contains your picture and signature 
  • A valid registration in the same precinct under a different name or address 
  • A notice of late registration sent to you by your county auditor or city clerk
  • A voter registered in the same precinct as you who can confirm your address with a signed oath
  • An employee of the residential facility where you live who can confirm your address with a signed oath
  • Both 1) a photo ID from the list below, and 2) a current bill from the list below with your current name and address in the precinct
    • Photo IDs (may be expired)
      • Minnesota Driver’s License
      • Minnesota ID Card
      • United States Passport
      • United States Military ID Card
      • Tribal ID Card
      • Minnesota University, College, or Technical College ID Card
    • Bills (delivered electronically or by mail)
      • Utility bill due within 30 days of election day:
        • Telephone (landline, cell, VOIP, etc.) 
        • TV (cable, satellite, etc.)
        • Internet services
        • Electric
        • Gas
        • Solid Waste
        • Sewer Services
        • Water 
      • Rent statement dated within 30 days of election day that itemizes utilities
      • Current student fee statement

The Strib item does provide a link to the secretary of state’s website, and a hotline: 1-877-600-VOTE (8683).

Given the Strib’s daily circulation and web traffic, the error could, at the very least, flood helplines on a day already complicated by “election integrity” challenges. And let’s hope no races are decided by Franken-Coleman margins.