Marriage amendment combatants raise more than $15M

The battle over the marriage amendment may be the most expensive fight ever in Minnesota over a ballot initiative, the Star Tribune reports. Even actor Brad Pitt has donated money. Opponents of the measure raised more than $10 million, and supporters raised about $5 million. Supporters of the other ballot measure, a constitutional amendment that would require voters to bring a photo ID to the polls, raised about $1.5 million, and opponents raked in $2.6 million.
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The battle over the marriage amendment may be the most expensive fight ever in Minnesota over a ballot initiative, the Star Tribune reports. Opponents of the measure raised more than $10 million, and supporters raised about $5 million. Voters on Tuesday will vote on whether to approve an amendment to the state constitution that defines marriage as between a man and woman.

Gay marriage is on the ballot in three other states: Maine, Maryland and Washington. Actor Brad Pitt is among those who have donated money to fight bans on gay marriage. He gave $100,000 to the Human Rights Campaign, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Supporters of the other ballot measure in Minnesota, a constitutional amendment that would require voters to bring a photo ID to the polls, raised about $1.5 million, and opponents raked in $2.6 million, the Star Tribune reported. High-profile leaders of the campaigns on both sides of the voter ID issue clashed at an MPR-hosted debate. The integrity of the voting process is at stake, said Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, the chief House author of the amendment bill and a former secretary of state, MPR reports.

Rep. Steve Simon, DFL-St. Louis Park, described the amendment at a poorly written mess. "When you put something in the constitution, you are writing in permanent ink and you're placing something of real importance above the heads and beyond the reach of future legislators and governors," Simon said. "That is wrong, especially for something as sloppy and slapdash as this particular amendment."

In a lower-profile campaign cash war, state Democrats have a money lead over Republicans in this final week before Election Day as legislative candidates scramble for votes, MPR reports.

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Millions raised in final stretch of marriage amendment fight

Minnesotans United for All Families, the driving force behind the campaign to defeat the proposed marriage amendment, raised $3 million from Sept. 19 to Oct. 22. The group's main opponent, Minnesotans for Marriage, says they raised about $2.4 million in the same time period.

Marriage amendment allies, foes target black voters

Black voters in Minnesota are the latest audience sought by opponents and supporters of marriage amendment, the Star Tribune reports. The president of the national NAACP was in the state Monday to urge black voters to reject the ballot measure that would ban gay marriage. Church leaders are divided.

Marriage amendment vote close; voter ID likely to pass

A new KSTP/SurveyUSA poll shows the battle between supporters and opponents of a ballot measure that would ban gay marriage could result in the closest statewide race on Election Day. The survey shows 48 percent support the amendment that would define marriage as between a man and woman, and 47 percent oppose it.

Marriage amendment foes raise $3.1 million

A group opposing a constitutional amendment to define marriage as between and man and a woman has raised $3.1 million since it last reported its finances in January. Minnesotans United for All Families, a group formed solely to defeat the proposed change to the state's constitution, has collected more than $4.6 million since the campaign started last year.

Blank ballots could seal fate of marriage amendment

After so many fierce debates, months of campaigning and millions of dollars spent, the marriage amendment could be decided by people who leave the question blank on their ballots, MPR reports. A blank ballot counts as a "no" vote on the question of whether a marriage should be defined in the state constitution as between a man and woman. To be approved, the measure needs 50 percent of voters to vote "yes."

New poll shows Minnesotans evenly divided on both amendments

The marriage and voter ID amendments need the support of a majority of Minnesotans who vote in November to become part of the state Constitution. The latest poll shows the marriage amendment supported by 49 percent of respondents, while 51 percent back the voter ID measure.