The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota is offering $1,000 to any resident of the state that can find a case of voter fraud that would have been prevented by a voter ID law.
"There is no voter impersonation fraud in Minnesota," said ACLU-MN Executive Director Charles Samuelson, "and we are willing to bet on it."
The Republican-controlled Minnesota legislature is pushing a constitutional amendment that would require voters to show a government-issued photo identification in order to vote at a polling place.
Republicans across the country have pushed for stricter voting regulations, such as voter ID laws, to protect against alleged voter fraud. More than 30 states have changed voter laws since 2008, including requiring voter identification cards, eliminating same-day registration on voting day, prohibiting ex-felons from ballot access, restricting early voting and requiring proof of citizenship.
Democrats and others argue that voter ID laws are unnecessary due to a lack of evidence of any organized voter fraud scheme. They say it unfairly targets low-income, elderly, disabled, and minority voters, who are less likely to have a photo ID. Those groups also tend to support Democrats over Republicans.
"We don't want hearsay, we want facts," Samuelson explained. "If you can bring evidence of a voter impersonation conviction that would have been prevented by this new law in the past ten years, we will give you $1,000. We believe this amendment push is being fueled by rumor and fear, but not facts."