News & Media

Minnesota faith leaders defeat voter restriction

Land of Opportunity, Civic Participation

November 7, 2012

ISAIAH - Minneapolis, St. Cloud, St. Paul

In Minnesota, St.-Paul-based ISAIAH leaders rejoiced in the downfall of a proposed mandatory photo ID ballot measure that would have excluded tens of thousands of voters in the state. ISAIAH clergy leaders pointed out that the measure would raise significant barriers to voting for the elderly, youth, people of color and the poor.

More than 350 Minnesota volunteers made 23,000 phone calls and made hundreds of home visits, eventually reaching more than 36,000 voters for conversations about how the photo ID amendment would restrict voting rights. Congregations held petition-signing events, hosted phone bank programs and organized forums to raise awareness about harmful effects of the amendment. Many individual faith leaders proclaimed their vision of a more just and inclusive democracy in sermons, two press conferences, and community events.

“There is still much more to be done,” said the Rev. Paul Slack, pastor of New Creation Church in North Minneapolis and president of ISAIAH. “We successfully defended our electoral system. Now we must take the movement and the values at the center of that movement to the Legislature. There is so much to do to ensure that the decisions the Legislature makes reflect our vision of a state where everybody matters,” he said.