And yet your elected “leaders” see no need for voter I.D. What a sham.

Minnesota asks for Real ID extension
By David Montgomery, St. Paul Pioneer Press Today at 9:34 a.m.

With Minnesota driver’s licenses on the verge of becoming invalid for airport security, Gov. Mark Dayton and legislative leaders will formally ask federal officials for more time to bring Minnesota into compliance.

If the U.S. Department of Homeland Security gives Minnesota an extension, lawmakers could create new driver’s licenses that comply with the federal Real ID act. Among other things, the law requires more forms of ID in order to get driver’s licenses that will be accepted by airport security.

Without compliant driver’s licenses, Minnesotans would need to get other forms of ID, such as a passport, in order to fly. Federal officials will make the change at some point next year but haven’t announced a specific date. Homeland Security assistant secretary Philip McNamara said in September that the department “will ensure that the traveling public has ample notice before any changes are made that could possibly affect their travel planning.”

Dayton is “seeking an extension to allow the Legislature to address the issue in the upcoming session,” gubernatorial spokesperson Matt Swenson said. “He hopes to have it done by the end of the week.”

At a meeting with Minnesota leaders in September, Homeland Security officials said they would likely grant an extension only if a state had a “path forward” to implementing Real ID — and thus not merely as a stalling tactic.

Whether there are votes in the Legislature to implement Real ID remains uncertain, but leaders in both chambers are on board with Dayton’s extension request.

House Speaker Kurt Daudt, R-Crown, said he supports asking the federal government for an extension of the Real ID deadline and expects the Minnesota Legislature will approve a new identification law next year.

“Our goal is that when people want to get on an airplane with their Minnesota ID, they can,” Daudt said.

Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk, DFL-Cook, is also on board with the request.

In 2009, lawmakers passed a law forbidding Minnesota from implementing Real ID — or even planning for implementation. That law, which passed with only one dissenting vote, is still on the books.

At the September meeting, lawmakers in both parties raised objections to Real ID, principally on privacy grounds.

Daudt said it’s a “multi-step process” to get a Real ID-compliant license. He said interested House lawmakers are already meeting to try to find consensus on what to do next.

Senate DFL spokesperson Alyssa Siems Roberson said there’s “a good portion of our caucus that is committed to finding a way to make something work.”

One possible compromise is a two-tiered system, in which Minnesota issues one Real ID-compliant license and one noncompliant license, leaving the choice up to voters. In Wisconsin, which has a similar system, only about 23 percent of ID cards have been Real ID-compliant.

Rachel E. Stassen-Berger contributed to this report.

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