Voter ID opponents out-raise amendment supporters

A leading organization working to block a constitutional amendment that would require voters to show identification at the polls has out-raised the amendment’s supporters, according to new campaign finance documents.

Our Vote Our Future has raised nearly $183,000 since the beginning of the year, which is about $133,000 more than it reported in June when the last round of finance reports were filed.

Meanwhile, ProtectMyVote.com, a fund spearheaded by Minnesota Majority, which supports the voter ID amendment, has raised about $135,000 since the beginning of the year.

The group has collected $60,000 in cash since June, most of it coming from Joan Cummins, the wife of Robert Cummins, Minnesota’s most generous GOP donor. She gave $50,000 on June 20, bringing her total for the year to $100,000. The rest came from Rosen Diversified, an agricultural company owned by Tom Rosen, Fairmont Republican Sen. Julie Rosen’s former husband.

Our Vote Our Future has collected about $100,000 in cash donations since June, with the largest contributions coming from AARP Minnesota and the Communications Workers of America.

The rest of Our Vote Our Future’s take came from in-kind contributions from other Minnesota organizations that have partnered with the group, including $8,440 worth of staff work and printing by TakeAction Minnesota, $5,000 worth of staff work from Minnesota AFL-CIO and other services from AARP Minnesota and the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits.

Meanwhile, Vote NOvember 6, an ballot fund created by Minnesota Public Interest Research Group (MPIRG), a group that typically focuses on environmental and consumer issues, has raised $186,000 since the beginning of the year to defeat both the voter ID amendment and a separate amendment that would define marriage as between a man and a woman.

Josh Winters, MPIRG’s executive director, says that all the group’s contributions since April have been devoted to blocking both amendments, and what the group raises is spent equally on efforts to defeat both, Winters said. For the most part, the group’s activities have focused on phone and field canvassing.

Several other groups involved in the voter ID amendment debate, including the ACLU of Minnesota, America Votes for Minnesota’s Future and Voter ID for MN, have not yet posted finance reports on the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board’s website.

  • fbrothers

    Stop trying to suppress the vote. It did not work last time. And, it will not work now.

  • Nick

    We need this amendment to pass. Right now there is nothing stopping the following from happening: I know my neighbors name. I know he has voted in past elections (and is therefore registered). I know that he usually votes after work. I know that he plans on voting for a candidate that I don’t like. So, I go to our polling place when in opens, sign in as him, and I cast my vote (using his name).

  • John

    Nick-

    Passing voter ID will only hurt people who lack a photo ID (mostly poor people or the elderly) and won’t fix any problem with our elections now.

    How about having people fingerprint when they sign into vote as an added security? That wouldn’t hurt anyone.