What’s in a name? Well, it may be the difference between winning and losing, according to supporters and opponents of two referenda heading for the ballot in November. Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has now renamed both of them. First, he renamed the marriage amendment “Limiting The Status Of Marriage To Opposite Sex Couples.” It had been called “Recognition of marriage solely between one man and one woman.” The most recent change came this afternoon, when Ritchie decided to rename the state’s proposed voter ID amendment, designated by its legislative sponsors “Photo Identification Required for Voting.” Ritchie decided to rename the amendment “Changes to In-Person & Absentee Voting & Voter Registration; Provisional Ballots.” Supporters quickly cried foul.
“It is not being accurate as far as what the core of the constitutional amendment is,” complained state Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, the measure’s sponsor. “It’s not being honest with the voters.” Kiffmeyer said the title of the question put to voters should at least make reference to an identification requirement. She called the new name a political revision, and said it might have a negative effect on the measure’s prospects at the polls.