The voter ID ballot question may be flawed, state Supreme Court justices told lawyers for both sides Tuesday, July 17, but they asked whether it is unconstitutionally misleading. And if so, what should they do about it? The justices peppered the lawyers with questions for an hour in a case that seeks to have the question thrown off the November ballot. They raised the possibility of amending the language or even using the entire proposed amendment as the question to voters rather than blocking it from appearing on the ballot. A decision is expected shortly. State elections officials have said they must know by Aug. 27 in order to have ballots prepared.
Shortly after the oral arguments, which drew a crowd that overflowed into two additional rooms in the Minnesota Judicial Center in St. Paul, the two lawmakers who sponsored voter ID legislation in the 2012 Legislature said they will file a legal challenge of their own. Sen. Scott Newman, R-Hutchinson, and Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer, R-Big Lake, said they’ll challenge the recent decision by Secretary of State Mark Ritchie to change the title of the voter ID question. Newman said a lawsuit is coming “pretty soon — stand by.”
A similar challenge has been filed by backers of the state’s other ballot question, which would add a traditional marriage definition to the state’s constitution. Arguments before the state Supreme Court in that case are scheduled for July 31. Ritchie and Attorney General Lori Swanson are on the schedule at a Friday hearing of the State Government Innovation and Veterans Committee to talk about their actions with respect to the amendments.
Full Article: Top Minnesota court joins voter ID fray – TwinCities.com.