Supreme Court rules both suits in Legislature’s favor

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The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled Monday that the Legislature’s voter ID ballot question will stay on the ballot as originally written after The League of Women Voters and Voter ID opponents filed a lawsuit in May claiming the question was misleading and should be struck from the ballot.

Court justices also denied Secretary of State Mark Ritchie’s titles for the Voter ID question and the proposed amendment that would ban same-sex marriage. The court ruled the Legislature has the authority of naming both amendments that will appear on the ballot this fall.

Justices ruled 4-2 in both rulings in favor of the Legislature. The state’s high court determined that the Voter ID question “is not so unreasonable and misleading” to require court intervention.

Justices declared Secretary of State Mark Ritchie “exceeded his authority” when he provided new titles for both amendments.

The League of Women Voters and other voter ID opponents filed a lawsuit in May claiming the Voter ID question was misleading and should be struck from the ballot.

The proposed amendment would require valid government-issued photo identification to vote and would instate provisional balloting.

Provisional ballots are votes cast on Election Day that aren’t counted until voters make a second trip to election officials with the required ID.

During the July hearing, the main issues raised with the Legislature’s question were the lack of mention of provisional balloting and the discrepancy between “valid photo identification” and “valid government-issued photo identification.”