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Accurately reflect 'will of the people'

Most Minnesota voters are aware that two important constitutional amendment issues will appear on the ballot in November. One of these amendments is designed to maintain the legal definition of marriage in Minnesota as a "One man-one woman" union. The second amendment is designed to reduce or eliminate voter fraud by requiring "photo ID" as a part of the voting process. Polling data reflects strong public support for each of these amendments which were passed by both houses of the State Legislature earlier this year.

One of the important duties performed by our Secretary of State is to ensure that Minnesota's voting process is legal, fair and transparent to accurately reflect the "will of the people." Unfortunately, on these two important issues, Secretary of State Mark Ritchie is attempting to overstep his authority by substantially rewording the titles of these amendments from the original titles passed by the State Legislature. In doing so, it may lead to voter confusion and misunderstanding. On the Marriage Amendment, the Legislature approved "Recognition of Marriage Solely between One Man and One Woman." Mark Ritchie is attempting to re-title the amendment as "Limiting the status of marriage to opposite sex couples." On the Voter ID Amendment, the Legislature approved "Photo Identification Required for Voting." Mark Ritchie is attempting to change the title to "Changes to in-person and absentee voting and voter registration; provisional ballots."

It is common knowledge that Ritchie weighs in on the far left of the political scale, and accordingly, opposes both amendments. Like every citizen, Mr. Ritchie is clearly entitled to his personal opinions. However, as secretary of state, he should not introduce title language that is substantially different from that approved by the State Legislature which may confound or confuse voters on these important issues.

You be the judge. Do not allow a biased government bureaucrat influence your decision. Let your voice be heard by voting your conscience in November.

A.L. Kleinke