Judge will rule in online registration case against Ritchie

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The lawsuit over the online voter registration program launched by Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie is now in the hands of a Ramsey County judge, according to the Star Tribune.

Judge John Guthmann did not say when he would rule on whether the disputed system can remain in place.

The Associated Press reports the judge said "the most I can do is stop the registration going forward," and that it would probably take a separate case to challenge the thousands of online registrations since the system launched in September.

Four Republican lawmakers and two conservative activist groups filed the suit to block the online voter registration system last month, claiming Ritchie lacked legislative authority to implement it.

Ritchie said earlier this month that he wants the lawsuit dismissed, claiming the plaintiffs are seeking an extraordinary remedy and can’t prove they’ve been injured.

Gov. Mark Dayton said he supports the idea of online voter registration, but he believes Ritchie should have sought approval from the Legislature before the system went online.

Politics in Minnesota said the American Civil Liberties Union has also filed a brief in the lawsuit.

According to the blog, the ACLU isn't entirely siding with Ritchie, but argues the judge in the case cannot rule to invalidate the registrations of voters in the state who have already used the online registration system.

As of the first week of December, 2,225 people across the state used the system to submit voter applications or updated existing ones, the AP said.

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