Last minute money pours into ballot question funds

In the days leading up to today’s election, hundreds of thousands of dollars have poured into the two constitutional amendments on this year’s ballot.

A recent poll shows that Minnesotans are divided on a constitutional amendment that would define marriage as between one man and one woman, as well as an amendment that would require voters to show photo identification at the polls.

The extra money arrived after groups opposing and supporting the marriage and voter ID amendments filed their last reports with the Campaign Finance and Public Disclosure Board, and the dollars underscore just how much attention the two questions have been getting.

The marriage amendment, a proposal that would ban same-sex marriage in the state constitution, attracted the most last-minute dollars.

Donors gave Minnesota for Marriage, the group in support of the amendment, nearly $1.3 million in the final days of the campaign. Roughly 42 percent of that came from the National Organization for Marriage, which has supported similar constitutional amendments around the country.

That brings Minnesota for Marriage’s pre-election fundraising total to more than $5 million since the start of 2012.

Meanwhile, amendment foes Minnesotans United for All Families brought in an extra $811,000 in recent days. High profile donors include New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who gave $125,000 to the group and liberal donor Alida Messinger, who gave $200,000.

That brings Minnesotans United for All Families’ fundraising total for the year to about $10.6 million.

Money flowed to groups supporting and opposing the voter ID amendment, too.

Out Vote, Our Future, the primary group opposing the proposal, has made nearly $340,000 since the last finance reporting deadline, bringing its annual total to nearly $3 million., the primary group that support the amendment, brought in an additional $35,000 for a yearly total of $1.5 million.

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