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Minn. Supreme Court rejects challenge to photo ID; throws out ballot issue titles

The Minnesota Supreme Court has rejected a legal challenge to a proposed constitutional amendment that would require voters to show photo ID at the polls. In a separate decision, the court also threw out ballot titles written by Secretary of State Mark Ritchie for the voter ID amendment and another amendment to ban gay marriage. Republicans had argued that Ritchie overstepped his authority and was trying to influence voters to reject both amendments.
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A pair of Minnesota Supreme Court rulings will keep the voter ID amendment on the November ballot and restore the titles the Legislature gave to that ballot question and the marriage amendment. The justices ruled Secretary of State Mark Ritchie overstepped his authority by substituting amendment titles he had written for those supplied by lawmakers.

In the other case, groups including the League of Women Voters argued the ballot question written by the Legislature misrepresented the actual Constitutional amendment. The majority ruled the groups' complaints were not serious enough for the court to remove the question from the ballot, although Justices Alan Page and Paul Anderson dissented. Page wrote that the ballot question deliberately misstates the language of the amendment.

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Related

State Supreme Court to hear marriage, photo ID title arguments on same day

The Minnesota Supreme Court is going to have a busy day July 31. The court Friday scheduled a case that seeks to undo Secretary of State Mark Ritchie's chosen title for the photo ID constitutional amendment the Legislature put on the November ballot. The other, previously scheduled, is for arguments over a nearly identical protest over Ritchie's title for the amendment to ban same sex marriage.

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.

Ballot measure title fights come to Minnesota high court

Two sides in the fight over how to word the titles of two controversial ballot measures – on gay marriage and photo IDs at polling places – will clash in the Minnesota Supreme Court on Tuesday.

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Critics of the Voter ID question on Minnesota's fall ballot will have their day in court on July 17th. The state Supreme Court will hear arguments then on a petition to have the question removed from the ballot. Four groups argue the question does not accurately describe the amendment.

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.

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.

Voter ID ballot question prompts more questions from justices

The Minnesota Supreme Court had plenty of questions for lawyers arguing the merits and shortcomings of the voter ID ballot question. Groups including the League of Women Voters say the question that will appear before voters does not accurately characterize the changes the amendment would make to the Constitution. Lawyers for the Legislature say it's up to lawmakers - not the courts - to write ballot questions.

Critics of Voter ID amendment to court: Legislature is misleading voters

Groups that are challenging the proposed Constitutional amendment that would require an ID to vote filed paperwork with the Minnesota Supreme Court in advance of the hearing later this month. They say if the court approves the ballot question as is, it will send the message that the Legislature is free to mislead or deceive voters.