Each side is digging in in the fight over the titles of the proposed Constitutional amendments that will appear on Minnesota's fall ballot. Attorney General Lori Swanson filed papers with the Supreme Court insisting it's up to the Secretary of State to come up with the titles. Meanwhile, a Senate committee scheduled a Friday hearing to question Secretary of State Mark Ritchie about his changes to the titles suggested by the Legislature.
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Battle over Minnesota marriage amendment headed to court
Supporters of the constitutional marriage amendment have filed a lawsuit asking the Minnesota Supreme Court to change the ballot title question back to “Recognition of marriage solely between one man and one woman." Last month, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and Attorney General Lori Swanson changed the tittle voters will see in November to “Limiting the status of marriage to opposite sex couples.”
Marriage amendment supporters investigate Ritchie's ballot title change
The pro-marriage amendment group Minnesota for Marriage Friday called into question Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie's actions after he unilaterally rewrote the title of the ballot question Thursday without warning. The group is requesting correspondence between Ritchie and state Attorney General Lori Swanson, who are both Democrats, and other documents. The group says the new phrasing hurts their cause.
Ritchie's critics urge court to reverse amendment title change
Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie's changes to the title that will appear over the marriage amendment on the fall ballot came under attack in papers filed with the state Supreme Court. Lawyers for Republican lawmakers and other backers of the amendment say Ritchie's changes will make voters less likely to approve the Constitutional amendment. They also argue that it's up to the Legislature - not the Secretary of State - to write the title. A hearing before the court is coming up later this month.
Ritchie changes title of the marriage amendment ballot question
Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has submitted the title “Limiting the Status of Marriage to Opposite Sex Couples" to Attorney General Lori Swanson for final approval, the Associated Press reports. Supporters of the constitutional amendment want it titled, "Recognition of Marriage Solely Between One Man and One Woman."
Supreme Court won't extend time limits as lawyers argue amendment titles
Minnesota Supreme Court justices will hear arguments Tuesday about the titles of the Constitutional amendments that will appear on the fall ballot. Backers of the marriage and voter ID amendments want the court to get rid of the titles supplied by Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and restore the original titles the Legislature wrote. The court refused to extend the time limits for attorneys to make their arguments.
Ritchie also reworks ballot title of voter photo ID amendment
Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie is changing the title of the constitutional amendment to “Changes to in-person & absentee voting & voter registration; provisional ballots." Sponsors of the measure, seeking to require voters to show a photo ID before casting a ballot, want the question titled "Photo Identification Required for Voting." Ritchie is being sued for changing the title on the marriage amendment question.
Justices hear lawyers for administration, Legislature spar over amendment titles
The Dayton administration argues a 1919 law gives the Secretary of State the power to write the titles of Constitutional amendments that appear on the ballot. Lawyers for the Legislature say the Constitution gives lawmakers that authority. Supreme Court justices will need to decide who's right before the end of August, so this fall's ballots can be prepared.
Secretary of State pushes possible alternative to Voter ID amendment
Instead of requiring voters to bring an ID to the polls, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie's suggestion would allow poll workers to look up an electronic version of the voter's driver's license or of a photo taken during registration. Ritchie says the "electronic poll book" would protect against fraud and would be cheaper than the proposal backed by many Republicans.
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