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Voter ID foes kick off campaign

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Opponents of a proposed constitutional amendment that would require Minnesotans to show a photo ID in order to vote kicked off their campaign Thursday.

The amendment will go up for a statewide vote in November.

Opponents say they have assembled a large coalition of organizations opposed to the measure. They include the Stairstep Foundation, a faith-based Minneapolis civil rights group. 

At a state Capitol press conference, CEO Alfred Babington-Johnson said the amendment would restrict the voting rights of African-Americans.

"This effort to require photo ID in order to exercise the voter franchise that has been won by the literal blood and sweat of too many brave civil rights workers and suffragettes is simply lipstick on a gruesome-looking pig and perfume on a foul-smelling skunk in our midst," he said.

Dan McGrath, the executive director of Take Action Minnesota, one of the main groups opposing the amendment, said the proposal is costly, unnecessary and will restrict voting rights.

"The job of our campaign is to peel back the layers of the photo ID amendment just like an onion," McGrath said. "As voters do this they will realize this voter amendment stinks."

 The Republican-controlled Legislature put the proposed amendment on the ballot, and a poll last year showed a large majority of likely voters supported it.