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City files amicus brief; asks Supremes to send amendment back to legislature

St. Paul jumps in to Voter ID fray

The city of St. Paul filed an amicus brief with the Minnesota Supreme Court yesterday on behalf of the challenge filed by the ACLU, the League of Women Voters, Common Cause Minnesota and other groups to the Voter ID amendment that will be on this fall’s ballot.

In the brief, St. Paul City Attorney Sara Grewing says the photo ID question is not authorized by law and should not be put on the ballot. She argues that the Supreme Court should send the bill back to the legislature for further clarification.

The Republican controlled legislature passed a bill that would put the question to voters. The ballot question asks voters whether the state constitution should be amended to “require all voters to present valid photo identification to vote.”

The ACLU and others sued claiming the question was misleading and vague. The Supreme Court will hear arguments in the case next month. Last week a legislative commission voted to hire the Wintrhop & Weinstine firm for $18,000 to represent the legislature in the lawsuit.

St. Paul’s brief says the amendment if passed would cost the city thousands of dollars to comply with.

The amendment would “force the city to spend substantial tax dollars to implement provisional voting programs, and precincts could interpret the confusing and ambiguous measure in different ways leading to inconsistent application of which citizens are allowed to exercise their constitutional right to vote.”

 

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