Truth In Advertising: MN Secretary Of State Changes Title For Anti-Gay Marriage Amendment

Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie

Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie

Governor Mark Dayton’s veto of an anti-gay marriage constitutional amendment isn’t so meaningless after all.

Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie’s has used the Governor’s veto as reasoning to re-title the amendment as it appears on the November general election ballot.

Ritchie today announced the amendment will be titled “Limiting the status of marriage to opposite sex couples.” Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson’s office approved the ballot language change on June 19th.

Republican authors of the amendment wanted it to be titled, “Recognition of marriage solely between one man and one woman.”

The ballot question, written by the legislature, will remain the same.

Reasoning on rewrite could also force change on voter photo ID amendment title.

Minnesota Statute section 204D.15 provides that the Secretary of State “shall provide an appropriate title” for each constitutional amendment. Ritchie’s office says the governor’s veto of the legislation (Senate File 1308) invalidated the title designated by the legislature.

How the amendment is titled could impact how people vote on it since the entire amendment is not presented on the ballot. So this is how the ballot will look:

LIMITING THE STATUS OF MARRIAGE TO OPPOSITE SEX COUPLES
“Shall the Minnesota Constitution be amended to provide that only a union of one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in Minnesota?

It’s possible a constitutional amendment requiring large changes in Minnesota’s election systems may also get re-titled using the same logic. The “Voter Photo ID” amendment was also vetoed by Governor Dayton and a court challenge over the ballot question is scheduled to be heard by the Minnesota Supreme Court next month.

A spokesperson for the Secretary of State’s office says Ritchie will issue the title to the Voter Photo ID amendment later this Summer.

June 15th Letter To MN Attorney General Swanson proposing the title change

MN Attorney General’s Office Reply Letter To Secretary Of State – June 19, 2012

Michael McIntee

Michael McIntee is a former network TV news executive with more than 30 years of broadcasting experience. He began his broadcasting career at the University of Minnesota's student radio station. He is an expert producer, writer, video editor who has a fondness for new technology but denies that he is a geek.

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