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HCBA Board Takes Position on Voter ID Amendment
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News Release:September 20, 2012

Minneapolis: -- The Board of Directors of the Hennepin County Bar Association took action at its September meeting to oppose the proposed amendment to the Minnesota Constitution that would require a government-issued ID in order to vote, and to encourage its members to express opposition through outreach.

The resolution was proposed to the board by the HCBA Diversity Committee that emphasized the impact the amendment could have on those without government-issued IDs.  The committee noted that research locally and nationally "raises concerns that voter ID requirements would create hurdles for otherwise eligible voters that would disproportionately affect women, citizens over 65 years of age, citizens of color and diverse backgrounds, citizens between the ages of 18 and 24 years, and citizens who earn less than $35,000 per year.”

In addition, the Diversity Committee expressed concern over the estimated cost of implementing the requirements of the proposed amendment, particularly in light of evidence that "voter impersonation is a non-issue in Minnesota.”

HCBA President Thomas Jensen stated that "The position taken by the board is in accordance with the organization’s articles of incorporation, which state that the HCBA ‘shall actively oppose discrimination [that is] prohibited or discouraged by law, whether or not the law applies directly to the Association.’ The Diversity Committee made the case to the board that there is a potential for discrimination if this amendment is passed, and therefore active opposition to the proposed amendment by the HCBA is called for by the articles.”