Voter ID backers file lawsuit over title change

Supporters of the voter ID constitutional amendment are asking the Minnesota Supreme Court to keep the original ballot title wording intact.

They filed a petition today that alleges DFL Secretary of State Mark Ritchie unlawfully changed the title to confuse voters. Ritchie, an outspoken critic of the GOP-backed amendment, announced last week that he was changing the title of the ballot question from “Photo Identification Required for Voting” to “Changes to In-person and Absentee Voting and Voter Registration, Provisional Ballots.”

Sen. Scott Newman, R-Hutchinson, an amendment chief author and one of the lawsuit petitioners, said in a news release that he thinks Ritchie overstepped his authority.

“The Minnesota Constitution provides the Legislature the exclusive authority to propose constitutional amendments to the people,” Newman wrote. The secretary of state’s duty is purely ministerial. His obligation is simply to print the ballots as directed by the Legislature. His refusal to do so is a breach of the public trust, so we’ve asked the Supreme Court to correct his error.”

The pro-amendment group Minnesota Majority and other state legislators are also part of the lawsuit.

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