On Wednesday, TakeAction Minnesota released a report that suggests executives from Minnesota's three largest banks--Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank and TCF--are at the center of the effort to restrict voter rights in the state.
The report, entitled "The 1% vs. Democracy in Minnesota: Following the Money Behind the Photo ID Amendment," unravels the tangled web of campaign funding behind Republican legislators who are trying to secure a photo ID amendment on the November 2012 ballot. Civil rights advocates say such amendments will keep thousands of voters of color from the polls.
If the ballot measure succeeds it would bypass the state's Democratic governor, who vetoed a similar bill last year.
"Over the past week, we've learned a lot about who would lose if photo ID becomes law -- over 700,000 eligible Minnesota voters, including seniors, low-income persons, students, people of color, disabled and rural Minnesotans," Dan McGrath, executive director of TakeAction Minnesota said at a news conference. "What hasn't been discussed is who WINS when people can't vote. That's what this report outlines."
McGrath presented his findings to reporters on Wednesday morning. A press release from TakeAction described McGrath's presentation and findings:
McGrath walked reporters through the report's key findings via two large charts displayed next to the podium which explained how banking executives put members of ALEC (American Legislative Exchange Council) in the House leadership and then placed an attack on the voting rights of Minnesotans at the top of the 2012 legislative agenda. Voter ID legislation was initially introduce by Representative Mary Kiffmeyer when the new majorities took office.
According to the release, the report primarily establishes the huge sums of money that banking industry groups put into state campaigns and their significant support for members who are leading the photo ID effort.
To read more about who would be affected the most by voter ID laws read "The Real Cost of the GOP's Push for Voter ID Laws."
The report is embedded below.