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Full House debate begins on voter ID amendment

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Debate is under way in the Minnesota House on a proposed constitutional amendment that would require Minnesotans to present a photo ID at the voting booth.

The debate is expected to be lengthy. It follows weeks of fiery testimony from groups representing minorities, students, the disabled and the elderly. Witnesses have argued these groups would be disenfranchised because they have limited access to photo IDs.

House Democrats said Tuesday before the debate that GOP backers of the amendment should focus instead on creating jobs and repairing the economy.

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said in a Tuesday statement he was disappointed that lawmakers were rushing to vote on the amendment because its effects on elections are still unknown.

The Senate may vote on the companion bill this week.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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