Could military personnel's needs swing voter ID vote?

The photo ID debate has largely been about who might have a harder time voting if the constitutional amendment passes Nov. 6.

Amendment critics have said consistently that Minnesota military personnel overseas will find it harder to cast their vote. Amendment supporters, though, are pushing back and the military voting question is taking center stage.

But will it hamstring military voting? A definitive answer is still hard to come by. There are detailed federal rules on the voting process for overseas military.

But as MPR News reporter Tim Pugmire notes:

The disagreement over the potential impact of voter ID is fueled by the lack of detail in the proposed constitutional amendment. The brief document makes no mention of military or overseas voters.

If voters pass the amendment in November, state lawmakers will have to fill in many of the blanks next year with enabling legislation. Other states with voter ID laws have exemptions for soldiers or allow the use of U.S. military identification.

Both sides in the debate know the reverence voters hold for those serving in the military. So while the total number of military personnel potentially affected is relatively small, their influence on the issue could be huge.

Up for discussion: Will the constitutional photo ID amendment result in fewer overseas personnel voting? As you weigh how to vote on the amendment, how important is the military / vote question?

Find complete coverage of the voter ID issue on our Campaign 2012 page.

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