Expends tremendous political capital to champion a radical fringe
The will of the vast majority of Minnesota voters has been thwarted by Governor Dayton’s stunning veto of the wildly popular Voter ID bill (SF509).
“Who is Governor Dayton representing with this move?” said Jeff Davis, president of Minnesota Majority. “The vast majority of voters in his own party want Voter ID, not to mention the majority of voters at large.”
A recent Star Tribune poll echoed several prior polls, finding broad public support for the Voter ID measure across all party lines. The Star Tribune poll showed that 80% of Minnesota voters support Voter ID, including 64% of Democrats, 84% of independents and 94% of Republicans.
In a statement, Governor Dayton claimed that election bills needed to have bipartisan support to earn his signature. While most Democrat lawmakers voted against the Voter ID bill, there were two members in the House that supported it. Minnesota Majority says that that polls prove there is strong bi-partisan support for Voter ID amongst the electorate and that Democrat politicians are out-of-touch with their constituents.
Now that Dayton has vetoed the Voter ID bill, the legislature will likely bypass the Governor and put the question directly to Minnesota voters through a constitutional amendment. If so, the question would appear on the ballot in November 2012.
“This is probably one of the most bone-headed political moves I have ever seen,” said Davis. “Dayton has not only expended tremendous political capital by vetoing a bill that is supported by 80% of the electorate, but now he and his party are probably going to have an expensive campaign to combat a popular ballot measure that they will most certainly lose in the 2012 election.”
Wisconsin’s Governor Walker signed that state’s Voter ID bill into law yesterday.
Davis believes Dayton’s decision to veto the bill was largely a response to deep-pocketed radical fringe groups who have fought against the bill, including MoveOn.org. “Dayton will ultimately have to make his case to Minnesota voters why he chose to side with groups funded by George Soros rather than siding with the people of Minnesota,” said Davis. “Dayton just proved he is completely out-of-touch with the people of Minnesota.”
In a press release, the governor said one of the reasons he vetoed the bill was that it “does nothing to address one of the frequently cited concerns – felons voting illegally.” This was a frequently repeated talking point of representatives of groups opposed to the voter ID bill. The problem is, it’s not true. A key component of SF509 was voter eligibility verification, a system that would indeed have prevented voting by ineligible persons, like convicted felons and noncitizens.
“Perhaps the governor should have taken the time to read the bill before he vetoed it,” Davis said.
Take Action: Call Governor Dayton at 651-201-3400 and tell him what you think of his veto.