Good morning!

In Minnesota

Two young Minnesotans face federal conspiracy charges tied to their alleged efforts to provide “material support” to the radical group Islamic State, also known as ISIS. (MPR News)

Every year legislators debate repealing the Sunday liquor sales ban, and every year it’s defeated by a powerful coalition of small, independent liquor stores and the local Teamsters union. Will next year be different? (MinnPost)

U.S. Rep. Rick Nolan and State Sen. Dave Tomassoni met privately with former employees of a Hibbing Veterans Affairs clinic to hear allegations that the ex-workers were ordered to backdate medical appointment schedules to make it appear that some veterans were being seen far sooner than when the appointments actually took place. (Star Tribune)

Outgoing Secretary of State Mark Ritchie reflects on his two terms in office. (MPR News)

Minnesotans across the state protested a grand jury’s decision not to indict a Ferguson, Missouri, police officer in the shooting death of Michael Brown. In Minneapolis, a car drove into a group of protesters, injuring a woman. (MPR News)

National Politics

Under President Obama’s new program to protect millions of illegal immigrants from deportation, many of those affected will be eligible to receive Social Security, Medicare and a wide array of other federal benefits, a White House official said. (Washington Post)

With negotiators nearing an accord on permanent tax breaks for businesses worth $440 billion over 10 years, President Obama rallied Democratic opposition and promised a veto. (New York Times)

When the tea party started five years ago, it was committed to curtailing the reach of the federal government, cutting the deficit and countering the Wall Street wing of the Republican Party. Now, it has become largely an anti-immigration overhaul movement. (New York Times)

Federal limits on mercury emissions from power plants, nearly 15 years in the making, will be reconsidered by the Supreme Court. (USA Today)

And finally…the New York Times backs down on #grapegate…sort of. (MPR News)

Programming Note

The Digest will take the rest of the week off and return on Monday, Dec. 1. Have a happy Thanksgiving!

Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie talks to reporters following the State Canvassing Board’s meeting to certify the 2014 election results. Tim Pugmire/MPR News

Minnesota’s 2014 general election results are now official.

The five-member State Canvassing Board met today to certify results that show 1,992,566 Minnesotans cast a ballot. That put Minnesota’s turnout for the midterm election at 50.51 percent of eligible voters. The turnout in 2010, the previous midterm, was 55.83 percent.

Outgoing DFL Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said 2014 was the smoothest election during his eight years in office, but the turnout was disappointing.

Ritchie said Minnesota followed a national trend.

“We’ve known in the past that if at the top of the ticket it looks like a blowout or if at the top of the ticket it doesn’t look like a really competitive race, there are plenty of people who will say ‘not much I can do in that top ticket race. I’m not going to vote,’” Ritchie said.

There were 198,143 absentee ballots cast under Minnesota’s new “no excuse” absentee voting law. That was a 55 percent increase from 2010.

This was Ritchie’s last time chairing the Canvassing Board. He did not run for re-election to a third term. DFLer Steve Simon will be sworn in as Ritchie’s successor as secretary of state in January.

During his two terms, Ritchie administered two hotly contested statewide recounts: the 2008 U.S. Senate race and the 2010 race for governor. He also was a political lightning rod.

Republicans frequently accused him of being overly partisan. But Ritchie told reporters that he always tried to remain positive in the face of criticism.

“I’ve spent eight years learning how to just take a deep breath, and when somebody tries to provoke me to be nasty about somebody else, I think that’s not Minnesotan,” Ritchie said. “But more importantly, it’s not me.”

Ritchie will soon turn his full attention to Minnesota’s effort to host a World’s Fair in 2023. He chairs the committee working to prepare the formal bid for submission next year.

Good morning!

In Minnesota

The Minnesota Legislature doesn’t begin its new session for another six weeks, but some lawmakers are already speculating about the potential for a rocky conclusion by a divided government, including a potential government shutdown. (MPR News)

DFL Gov. Mark Dayton downplayed his turkey pardoning powers and gave a preview of upcoming policy initiatives at the Capitol. (MPR News)

Will Republicans and Democrats swap control of the Minnesota House over the next few election cycles? (MinnPost)

State Rep. Greg Davids has asked Attorney General Lori Swanson to review details of a 2011 contract between MNsure and Dr. Jonathan Gruber, a consultant whose work related to the federal Affordable Care Act has become the subject of controversy.  (Star Tribune)

Electronic pulltabs seem to finally be generating revenue after missing projections for years. (MPR News)

U.S. Attorney Andy Luger is asking Somali-Americans for feedback on a new pilot program aimed at offering young people healthy alternatives to religious radicalization. (MPR News)

The chairman of the Big Stone County Republican Party, who took to Facebook last week to issue a “call to arms” against Muslims, has lost his day job. (Star Tribune)

National Politics

A grand jury declined to indict the police office who shot an unarmed teenager in Ferguson, MO, leading to sometimes violent protests and a call for calm by President Obama. (New York Times)

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was pushed out of his job by President Obama. (NPR)

DFL Sen. Al Franken says he’s optimistic that his campaign to prevent companies from creating Internet “fast lanes” will succeed. (Star Tribune)

One of the revolutionary concepts the incoming Republican Senate majority may (re-)introduce: working on Fridays. (Washington Post)