Dan Burns wrote earlier about Vote Suppression supporters freaking out. They have good reason to. Their constitutional amendment may likely never make it to the ballot.
Because its poorly written.
Whatever the merits of the Minnesota voter photo-identification amendment, chances are that it provisions will not take effect soon, if at all, even if adopted by voters this November.
The reason is not that it is a bad bill, which it is, or that it will do little to combat the virtually nonexistent in-person voter fraud in the state, which is also the case. Instead, the amendment's authors did such a horrible job of drafting it that either the Minnesota political process or the courts will prevent it from ever going into effect.
David Schultz goes on to explain that the amendment infringes upon voting rights of elderly, students and minorities but fails to mention Minnesota soldiers voting rights will also be infringed upon.
He also doesn't mention a main complaint of vote suppression opponents; that the amendment ends same-day registration.
I'll cut him some slack for some of these details (however important), because all of that isn't what will cause the Republican's latest efforts at vote suppression to go down in flames according to Mr. Schultz:
The single-subject rule
Assume the voter-ID amendment does pass this November, what then? The first major defect is that it violates the single-subject rule. Article IV, section 17 of the Minnesota Constitution states: "No law shall embrace more than one subject, which shall be expressed in its title." Minnesota, similar to what is found in approximately 40 other states, mandates that a specific bill or law include only one subject. This rule also applies to constitutional amendments in Minnesota.
Courts across the country have taken an aggressive position in recent years applying the single-subject rule, especially to ballot propositions and constitutional amendments, to invalidate measures voted on by the people. The reason is simple: Voters should not be forced to vote yes or no on ballot propositions that contain more than one subject, especially if they object to one of the provisions. Imagine a constitutional amendment asking voters "Should the mosquito be named the state insect and abortion banned?" I may oppose abortion or dislike mosquitos and forcing a yes or no on the entire proposition makes it difficult for voters to express their true preferences.
Consider the voter ID proposal language put before the voters: "Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to require all voters to present valid photo identification to vote and to require the state to provide free identification to eligible voters, effective July 1, 2013?" This ballot question has two subjects: One refers to presentation of a valid photo ID and the other to requiring the state to provide free identification. Conceivably, a voter could favor presentation of voter photo ID but not providing free identification, or vice versa.
Then there's the Enabling Problem, as Schultz describes it. But if you want to read about that, I suggest you head on over and read his post.