Twin Cities religious leaders are launching a multi-faith campaign aimed at defeating the voter ID constitutional amendment.
About 50 clergy members packed a State Capitol news conference today to announce the “Faith In Democracy” campaign, which will reach out to 50,000 voters in the coming weeks. The coalition contends the proposed requirement that all eligible Minnesotans show photo identification in order to vote is a threat to democracy and would prevent thousands of eligible Minnesotans from voting. Rabbi Marcia Zimmerman of Temple Israel in Minneapolis said the amendment is unacceptable.
“People who are a part of my congregation, they will not be able to vote, and I must speak out in their defense and give a voice to them,” Zimmerman said.
Rev. Jerry McAfee of New Salem Missionary Baptist Church in Minneapolis and the Minnesota State Baptist Convention described the amendment as a step backward for people of color.
“It is my opinion that voter suppression and voter restriction is shrouded in racism, with connection to poverty as well as those in seniors communities,” McAfee said. “It is sad. It is striking, and it blows my mind that this is an issue that is basically not a problem that’s looking for a problem.”
Voter ID supporters insist that the creation of a new provisional balloting system as part of the amendment will prevent voter disenfranchisement. They argue the requirement is needed to prevent voter fraud.
Photo: Tim Pugmire