Archive for the ‘Mark Ritchie’ Category

Rep. Mary Kiffmeyer’s op-ed in the Princeton Union-Eagle is a devastating criticism of Secretary Ritchie’s scare tactics in opposition to the proposed Photo ID constitutional amendment.

This criticism is particularly sharp:

He’s said that members of the Armed Forces deployed overseas would be unable to vote if the Voter ID amendment passes. As the chief election officer of the state, Ritchie should be familiar with the MOVE Act and UOCAVA ballots under federal law and thus should be fully aware that military absentee ballots are not affected by state laws. Not even an amendment to the State Constitution can hinder military balloting.

If Mr. Ritchie isn’t aware of these laws, then he isn’t qualified to be Minnesota’s Secretary of State. If Mr. Ritchie is aware of these laws but lies to scare people in an attempt to get them to vote no on the proposed constitutional amendment, he’s too corrupt to be Minnesota’s Secretary of State.

Secretary Ritchie is ignoring the word “substantially” and argues that eligibility verification cannot be accomplished on election day in the polling place. He claims that all 500,000 same-day registrants in Minnesota would therefore have to cast a provisional ballot to be counted later.

Ritchie’s intellectual dishonesty is disgusting. It isn’t reasonable to assume that everyone using EDR doesn’t have a drivers license or state-issued ID card. Still, that’s precisely what Mr. Ritchie does with this thinking.

It’s important to ask Mr. Ritchie why he’d make that assumption. I suspect he doesn’t really think that but that he’s just employing that as a scare tactic. Mr. Ritchie knows that anyone who uses EDR will cast a regular ballot if they present a state-issued Photo ID.

Mr. Ritchie can’t admit that, though, because that’d destroy another of his chanting points. If he admits to the truth, his arguments crumple.

His office claims that almost one million voters would have problems voting. This defies logic.

There are approximately 4,000,000 registered voters in Minnesota. In making that type of claim, Mr. Ritchie’s office is claiming that one-fourth of Minnesota’s registered voters don’t have a state-issued form of photgraphic identification.

It’s time for Mr. Ritchie to stop with the fearmongering. It’s time he started telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

It’s time people recognized Mr. Ritchie’s corruption.

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I attended a Vote Yes on Photo ID get together Monday night. The guest speaker was Rep. Keith Downey. I’ve written a bunch of articles and posts about Photo ID and voter fraud but Rep. Downey stunned me a couple of times.

First, I learned that Rep. Downey worked on implementing HAVA requirements when he was in the private sector. One of the states that he worked in was Indiana, the home of the Crawford v. Marion County Election Board lawsuit that eventually made its way to the Supreme Court. The Supreme Court’s ruling on Crawford made Photo ID laws possible throughout the nation.

Rep. Downey made clear that implementing Photo ID isn’t the complicated procedure opponents of the bill say it is. He said he wasn’t saying that as a GOP legislator. He said that as a result of his private sector experience.

Rep. Downey said that many of the claims now being touted by the DFL as Gospel fact on costs to cities and counties come from the various Photo ID bills that have since been dropped.

Rep. Downey said that many of the DFL statements and allegations “are based on the assumption that the legislature would pass” ridiculous enabling language to the Photo ID amendment if it passes and that “Gov. Dayton would sign that.”

The fact that Gov. Dayton vetoed Photo ID when it was a bill guarantees he won’t sign a bill with ridiculous enabling language.

Rep. Downey said that many lawsuits have been brought trying to reverse the Supreme Court’s Crawford ruling. He said that none of the testimony taken has proven Photo ID disenfranchises voters.

Court after court has ruled that the people who’ve supposedly been harmed by their state’s Photo ID laws weren’t actually disenfranchised.

The ACLU-MN, the League of Women Voters-MN and Common Cause MN aren’t trying to prevent Photo ID from becoming law because Photo ID makes voting difficult.

The Constitution isn’t on their side. The ‘evidence’ isn’t on their side, either. The polls have never been on their side.

That information makes me wonder why they’re fighting this as hard as they’re fighting it.

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Yesterday’s ruling by the Minnesota Supreme Court is a major step in the right direction to restoring election integrity in Minnesota. Unfortunately, it’s the first step. Unfortunately, it isn’t the silver bullet solution.

Glenn Reynolds’ op-ed highlights what’s needed for a truly world class election system:

An ideal voting system would:

  • Make it easy for voters to register.
  • Positively ensure that voters were who they said they were.
  • Make certain that no one could vote more than once.
  • And guarantee that votes properly cast would be properly recorded, while making the recording of fraudulent votes impossible.

Unfortunately, no such system exists, and the ones we have are far from the best available.Reynolds then highlighted another problem that needs addressing:

In Minnesota’s 2008 disputed US Senate election, won by Al Franken, who proceeded to cast the deciding vote in favor of ObamaCare, the margin of victory was 312, but it turned out that 1,099 votes were cast by felons who were ineligible to vote. Many of them have gone to jail, but Franken has remained in the Senate.

Secretary Ritchie’s office failed Minnesotans because they didn’t enforce key provisions in HAVA. Specifically, Ritchie’s office didn’t meet HAVA’s requirements:

The Help America Vote Act also lists strict standards for each state in maintaining its Statewide Voter Registration System (SVRS). HAVA mandates that each elections official at the State and local level MUST perform list maintenance on their SVRS with respect to the computerized list on a regular basis as HAVA mandates when a state does SVRS list maintenance that if an individual is to be removed from the SVRS from their respective state, that this maintenance must be done in the compliance of the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 1973gg et seq.) which lists what is legal and illegal for reasons for a state to legally purge their voting rolls what is illegal to remove voters from the SVRS

When a state removes a ineligible voter from the official list of eligible voters states  mandated as follows that: Under the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 that each respective state’s election authority must coordinate with their Department of Corrections the computerized list with State agency records on felony status of convicted felons if they are eligible to vote under each state’s voting laws of allowing convicted felons to vote under probation/parole or released from prison If a registered voter dies that the registered voter under the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 each state’s election authority MUST coordinate with the respective agency handling birth and death statistics (i.e. Department of Health and Human Services) in removing these voters as soon as possible from the voting rolls when the death is reported. Also, the Help America Vote Act (HAVA) puts in strict requirements and oversight to make sure that each state is following their own laws on enforcement of maintenance of their respective Statewide Voter Registration System (SVRS).

In other words, HAVA requires timely updating of the SVRS to prevent ineligible felons and dead people from voting. The fact that Ritchie didn’t enforce this key provision in HAVA indicates his disinterest in enforcing election laws. It doesn’t appear as though county workers are that interested in preventing voter fraud either:

The county workers’ attitude is pretty arrogant:

INVESTIGATOR: In theory, I could just, you know, say I have some illness or disability and just be at home and there’s no way that the state would know otherwise. WORKER: You are signing a statement, a form, that the information you’re providing is true and correct. INVESTIGATOR: So that’s it? It’s just kind of the honor system? WORKER: Yes, I guess, it’s, I mean, it’s been that way for many, many years, that, you know, Minnesota’s been an after-the-fact type of state. And, now, we do catch people, that do things, and they’re investigated and charged. But it is, you know, after-the-fact. My election judges have a difficult time with that. It’s like “Change the law. Change the law.”

These county workers admitted that voting fraud happens but that the fraudulent votes get counted.

There’s a national movement to restore election integrity, a tide that the Democratic Party is fighting against. It’s time that that tide swept these Corruptocrats Democrats out of office. Photo ID will clean up most of this voter fraud.

Still, a white hot spotlight should be shined on Corruptocrats Democrats like Ritchie. If he won’t enforce Minnesota’s election laws, then he must be thrown out of office, whether that’s through impeachment or whether it’s through defeating him in November, 2014.

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Monday afternoon, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that Secretary Ritchie overstepped his authority in changing the titles of the marriage amendment and the Photo ID amendment.

It’s interesting that Ritchie didn’t feel the need to change the title the legislature gave to the Legacy Amendment ballot question. It’s interesting that Ritchie wasn’t interested in the titles of proposed constitutional amendments until he personally opposed this year’s proposed constitutional amendments.

The title given to S.F.1308, aka the Marriage Amendment was pretty straightforward:

Recognition of Marriage Solely Between One Man and One Woman.

Ritchie said that he needed to change the title of the Photo ID amendment because it was misleading. I don’t believe that for a split second but let’s stipulate, for the sake of this discussion, that Ritchie’s right. What’s the need to change the title of the Marriage Amendment?

Here’s what Ritchie changed the title to:

Limiting the status of marriage to opposite sex couples.

The title Ritchie tried applying to the marriage amendment has a thoroughly negative tone, which Ritchie intended. That stinks of political kibitzing, something that’s forbidden of constitutional officers.

It also stinks of political mischief, another thing that’s forbidden of constitutional officers. Fortunately, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that Secretary Ritchie went too far with his political mischief.

It’s clear that Secretary Ritchie isn’t interested in upholding Minnesota’s election laws, which is his responsibility. It’s impossible to invest this much time campaigning against the Photo ID laws, then enforce it when it’s approved by the voters.

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Earlier this afternoon, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that Secretary of State Mark Ritchie doesn’t have the authority to change the title of the proposed constitutional amendments. They also ruled against “liberal-leaning groups” who sought to keep the proposed Photo ID ballot question off the ballot:

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Supreme Court has thrown out ballot title changes submitted by Secretary of State Mark Ritchie for two constitutional amendments voters will address this fall.

The high court on Monday rejected the titles written by Ritchie for the photo ID amendment and another amendment that would ban gay marriage in the state.

Republicans had argued that Ritchie overstepped his authority and was trying to influence voters to reject both amendments.

In a separate decision, justices also shot down a lawsuit from liberal-leaning groups who argued that lawmakers had failed to give voters the full scope of the changes that would result from the photo ID amendment.

These are stinging defeats to Secretary Ritchie, Common Cause, the ACLU-MN and the League of Women Voters-MN. The Minnesota Supreme Court ruled that the remedy sought by the ACLU-MN and the LWV-MN wasn’t warranted:

The court majority wrote that the photo ID ballot question “is not so unreasonable and misleading” that it should be taken off the ballot. The justices said striking the question from the ballot would have been “unprecedented relief” and that the voters will be “the sole judge of the wisdom of such matters.”

The Supreme Court’s ruling diplomatically says that the ACLU-MN, the LWV-MN and Common Cause tried to use the courts because they couldn’t win at the ballot box. The Supreme Court essentially said that the legislature has the authority to pass ballot questions and that citizens have the right to vote yes or no on the proposed constitutional amendments.

Ritchie changed the title for the marriage ban from “Recognition of Marriage Solely Between One Man and One Woman” to “Limiting the Status of Marriage to Opposite Sex Couples.”

He rewrote the photo ID title from “Photo Identification Required for Voting” to “Changes to In-Person & Absentee Voting & Voter Registration; Provisional Ballots.”

Citing its own precedent, the court found that when the Legislature includes its own title for ballot questions, then it goes beyond the authority of the secretary of state to replace it. The majority opinion said the secretary of state has “no constitutional authority over the form and manner of proposed constitutional amendments,” and directly ordered Ritchie to restore the original wording as set by the Legislature.

Secretary Ritchie intended to influence the outcome of a constitutional amendment based on his political preferences. That’s unacceptable because he’s a constitutional officer, not an elected politician.

That’s why Secretary Ritchie should be impeached.

Secretary Ritchie’s disdain for upholding the Constitution is showing. His attempt to confuse voters is a political act that the Constitution doesn’t allow and that Minnesota voters can’t tolerate. He’s a political hack who’s attempting to give himself extraconstitutional responsibilities.

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The League of Women Voters has had a sterling public reputation for a generation or more, a reputation it doesn’t deserve:

According to their website, Common Cause Minnesota, the League of Women Voters Minnesota, the Minnesota Council of Nonprofits and TakeAction Minnesota are ‘partners’ with Draw the Line Minnesota. That’s proof positive that this organization isn’t nonpartisan.

TakeAction Minnesota is one of the umbrella organizations that ran the filthiest smear campaign in Minnesota gubernatorial history. Partnering with them on any public policy project disqualifies the LWV-MN from being called nonpartisan. Hyperpartisan is the right adjective.

Nancy Gundersen, the co-chair of the LWV-St. Cloud wrote this troubling LTE. The first noticeable thing about the LTE was the partisan shots she took:

The Aug. 7 column by Jay Esmay of the Times Writers Group lambasted Secretary of State Mark Ritchie. Esmay used numbers from the conservative Minnesota Majority. He said in the 2008 Minnesota election there were “up to 260,000 duplicate registrations, more than 63,000 voters registered with addresses listed as ‘undeliverable’…”

These numbers have been discredited by the Secretary of State’s office and by Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota and Minnesota Unitarian Universalist Social Justice Alliance.

First, Mark Ritchie is too corrupt to discredit anyone on the issue of election integrity. Ritchie should be impeached, not praised. He’s a political hack making political visits to political meetings. I know because I attended one of those meetings.

The Secretary of State’s office is a constitutional office. It isn’t a political office. What I heard from Ritchie during his visit to a meeting of the Stearns County commissioners didn’t have anything to do with dispensing information on the ballot question. It didn’t have anything to do with voting statistics.

Mr. Ritchie’s presentation was filled with sniping editorial comments about his policy preferences.

Secondly, the Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota is a hard left progressive organization. They’ve frequently criticized the ballot question because it requires government-issued photographic identification instead of government-approved photographic identification.

Their criticism makes it sound like this is a fatal flaw which requires the defeat of the ballot question. At no point do they prove that this is an insurmountable hurdle. In fact, they don’t prove that it’s an unreasonable hurdle.

They say Minnesota Majority lumped together statistics from several years into one year. Also, “duplicate” registrations may have been people who moved, thus needing to re-register. Possibly others had registered and forgot.

I’ve referenced Minnesota Majority’s page on election integrity frequently. Here’s the key portion of the page:

RETURNED POSTAL VERIFICATION CARDS: In addition, the state’s primary registration verification tool is the Postal Verification Card (PVC). These post cards are mailed to newly registered voters. If the PVC is successfully delivered to the stated address, the voter is assumed to be legitimate. If the card is returned as undeliverable mail, the voter’s identity is in question and they are supposed to be challenged for proof of identity and residence at the polls in the next election. Over 46,000 of these postal verification cards have been returned to the county auditors as non-deliverable since 2004. About 38,000 of them were from 2008 and 23,000 stemmed from Election Day Registrations (EDRs). After accounting for legitimate reasons for undeliverable PVCs, over 6,000 unexplained, undeliverable PVCs resulting in challenged voter status remain outstanding from the 2008 election, and over 1,200 from 2010. See our full report on Unverifiable Voters in Minnesota’s Elections.

First, any honest person must admit that Minnesota Majority broke this down by election cycle. Second, it’s clear that Minnesota Majority broke this down into sufficient detail to identify how many of the PVC’s that the USPS returned were from people who used EDR.

This is Ms. Gundersen’s feeble response to this information:

Also, returned postcards are not proof of illegal voting. There are a number of explanations beside a false address. Perhaps the person moved soon after registering. Maybe the person never did vote.

I can’t believe this. The LWV’s opposition to Photo ID is based on maybe and perhaps? What’s stunning is that that’s the strongest argument they can make. They can’t say these people didn’t vote illegally. Their best argument is essentially ‘we think they’re honest because Minnesota has a sterling reputation’.

Minnesota’s election system shouldn’t be based on the honor system. It must be based on systems that can’t be compromised.

There aren’t any serious arguments that Minnesota’s current system can’t be compromised. I know because the DFL admitted that voter fraud is possible at their state convention:

Mr. Varko then spoke on behalf of his motion. Here’s part of what he said:

“I’m against this section for three reasons. One, I don’t believe that the Central Committee can come up with any mechanism that will genuinely prevent somebody from printing out a stack of absentee ballots, submitting them and getting them improper votes for a candidate.

Then Chuck Repke spoke:

I agree with the person who made the amendment. You’re setting yourself up for absolute insanity at the caucus level. The potential exists for someone from the Citizens United type to pack our caucuses with bought and paid for ballots. Absolutely guarantee the destruction of the precinct caucus process. There is no way to protect against that, folks, because we allow anyone to attend the caucus. We would therefore also have to let any absentee ballot to attend our precinct caucuses, regardless of which Koch Brother paid for it.

Delegates to the DFL State Convention voted to protect ballot integrity. There’s no better proof that voter fraud is possible than that.

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Tuesday night, the Executive Committee of the CD-8 Republicans unanimously passed a resolution calling for Speaker Zellers to start impeachment proceedings against Secretary of State Mark Ritchie. First, here’s what the Minnesota Constitution says about impeachment:

ARTICLE VIII
IMPEACHMENT AND REMOVAL FROM OFFICE
Section 1. Impeachment powers. The house of representatives has the sole
power of impeachment through a concurrence of a majority of all its members. All impeachments shall be tried by the senate. When sitting for that purpose, senators shall be upon oath or affirmation to do justice according to law and evidence. No person shall be convicted without the concurrence of two-thirds of the senators present.

Sec. 2. Officers subject to impeachment; grounds; judgment. The governor,
secretary of state, auditor, attorney general and the judges of the supreme court, court of appeals and district courts may be impeached for corrupt conduct in office or for crimes and misdemeanors; but judgment shall not extend further than to removal from office and disqualification to hold and enjoy any office of honor, trust or profit in this state. The party convicted shall also be subject to indictment, trial, judgment and punishment according to law. [Amended, November 2, 1982; November 3, 1998]

Sec. 3. Suspension. No officer shall exercise the duties of his office after he has been impeached and before his acquittal.

Sec. 4. Service of impeachment papers. No person shall be tried on impeachment before he has been served with a copy thereof at least 20 days previous to the day set for trial.

Here’s the text of the resolution:

Speaker Zellers:

Pursuant to the provisions of Article VIII of the Minnesota Constitution (reproduced below), the 8th Congressional District GOP Executive Committee urges the Minnesota House to initiate impeachment proceedings against Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie.

Of the two causes of impeachment action identified in Section 2, Mark Ritchie seems clearly to have been, and continues to be, participating in corrupt conduct in office.

Mr. Ritchie exceeded his traditional, legal and constitutional authority by manipulating the title of the two legislatively placed ballot initiatives scheduled for the November 2012 election. When the title of amendments is determined by legislative action, the wording of such amendments remains within the solid purview of the Legislative Branch. We view Secretary Ritchie to be politically motivated. We view these actions to be against the best interest of the people of Minnesota. We view these actions to clearly constitute corrupt conduct in office.

Secretary Ritchie has campaigned aggressively with numerous public appearances against the content of the voter ID amendment. We view these actions as corrupt conduct in office.

With a Republican majority in the Minnesota Senate for the first time in 38 years, the corrupt conduct of the Minnesota Secretary of State regarding amendments becomes an issue for the first time. Previously, the Senate was able to block all conservative amendments regardless of which party held the majority in the House. Suddenly the idea of an activist Secretary of State with an agenda becomes a problematic and immediate problem.

Note that between the House impeachment and the Senate trial, the constitution forbids Mr. Ritchie to serve as Secretary of State. Keeping Mr. Ritchie from further mischief and corrupt conduct in office would be of value to the people of Minnesota regardless or the ultimate outcome of the Senate trial.

I attended a meeting of the Stearns County county commissioners about a month ago. Secretary of State Mark Ritchie was an invited guest. Randy Schreifels, Stearns County’s Auditor/Treasurer, introduced Ritchie as “Secretary of State Mark Ritchie.”

After the introduction, Secretary Ritchie quickly turned the event into a campaign event, telling the commissioners and guests that the Photo ID amendment was complicated and expensive to the counties.

Most of Ritchie’s statements were opinions. Mr. Ritchie’s intent was clear. He sought to influence the opinions of the commissioners. Secretary Ritchie didn’t attempt to highlight anything positive about Photo ID.

It’s improper for a constitutional officer to use their office to campaign. This isn’t different in principle from Mike Hatch using official OAG stationery to talk about his runningmate in 2006:

“There are a lot of subtleties about the line separating official function from campaigns,” Nobles said on Monday. “But this one was not subtle. It was an official document, and a reference to a running mate has no place in it.”

Just like that instance, there wasn’t any attempt on Ritchie’s behalf to hide the fact that he was campaigning against the constitutional amendment.

Constitutional offices aren’t political offices. They aren’t given latitude to stray into politics and policies. It’s clear that that’s what Secretary Ritchie did in this instance.

That’s why Secretary Ritchie should be impeached.

UPDATE: Follow this link for more on this breaking story.

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When Mark Ritchie makes an unexpected ‘educational visit’ to your city, it’s always accompanied by a slew of articles about voter fraud. When Secretary Ritchie visited St. Cloud, he didn’t hold a townhall event open to the public. Instead, he met with the area’s city councilmembers, mayors, county commissioners and government bureaucrats.

According to this article, multiple plaintiffs filed a lawsuit alleging that election officials didn’t verify people getting ballots were entitled to those ballots:

“Public records reveal that after the November 2008 election there were 48,545 EDRs found to be unconfirmable; nevertheless each had their vote counted for that election contest. Each EDR who was found to be unconfirmable as entitled to vote after the election, upon information and belief, was also not entitled to vote on the preceding election day for that November 2008 contest.

People that can’t verify they are who they say they are shouldn’t get the same ballot that verified voters get. They should get a provisional ballot. If the person doesn’t return to verify their identity within 2 weeks, their ballots shouldn’t count.

Right now, the procedure is that a person using EDR gets a regular ballot. That’s a major problem because thousands of postal verification cards got returned as undeliverable in 2008 and 2010. When the cards were researched, many cards were sent to addresses that were empty lots or nonexistent entirely.

Though Secretary Ritchie won’t admit it, that’s what voter fraud looks like.

One of the DFL’s favorite chanting points is that photo ID “is a solution in search of a problem.” The problem has been located.

One commenter to LFR suggested that this wasn’t proof of voter fraud, that this might be the result of data entry error or that the people just filled their EDR form wrong.

That’s spin.

In 2008, a total of 715,000 people used EDR. Over 6,000 PVCs were returned as undeliverable. That’s an error rate of nearly 1%. That sounds like a reasonable error rate but it isn’t.

Most companies require their data entry operators maintain an error rate of less than .05%. If that corporate standard was applied to these EDRs, that would mean there shouldn’t be more than 357 PVCs returned.

Requiring photographic identification would solve this crisis. Yes, crisis is the right term. People who work hard and play by the rules shouldn’t have their votes negated by a person committing voter fraud.

Secretary Ritchie and his corrupt allies say that every vote is precious. I agree with him on that. Legally cast ballots shouldn’t be negated by people committing voter fraud.

That’s why Photo ID must be required in Minnesota.

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Mark Ritchie must go. He was considered the thought leader for the bloody WTO protests in Seattle in 1999. In recent court filings, he’s said that he doesn’t have the affirmative responsibility of preventing felony voter fraud. Prior to that, it’s been proven that he hasn’t faithfully updated Minnesota’s SVRS, which he’s required to do according to HAVA.

We know this because felons have been convicted of voting illegally. Had the voter rolls been updated in a timely fashion, they couldn’t have gotten a ballot.

Now, the Pioneer Press Editorial Board is accusing Mark Ritchie of attempting to suppress the vote:

Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie has changed the Legislature’s voter ID amendment title, “Photo identification required for voting, ” into the following: “Changes to in-person & absentee voting & voter registration; provisional ballots.” Ritchie, who is well read and well spoken, clearly had to go deep into the Orwellian playbook to come up with that one.

But what explains this bizarre formulation that obviously seeks to obscure the initiative and confuse the voter? One of the best explanations we’ve heard is that Ritchie hopes to so confuse the voters that they simply throw up their hands and skip this ballot item altogether. Remember, by law in Minnesota, a nonvote on a constitutional amendment question has the same effect as a “no” vote.

Mark Ritchie’s cumulative actions have sent the unmistakable message that he won’t enforce parts of Minnesota’s election laws that he disagrees with. I wrote here about the lengths Mr. Ritchie will go in refusing to enforce the parts of Minnesota’s election laws he doesn’t agree with. Here’s what Mr. Ritchie said about enforcing Minnesota’s election laws:

There is nothing in the words “any election,” in art. VII, § 1, or elsewhere in Minnesota law that places upon Defendants [Mark Ritchie, Lori Swanson and Joe Mansky] an affirmative obligation to prevent such persons from committing felony voter fraud.

The thought that Mr. Ritchie won’t accept responsibility for preventing voter fraud speaks volumes about his governing philosophy. It says that Ritchie thinks it isn’t his job to prevent honest people from having their votes negated by dishonest people who are gaming the system. It’s as if Ritchie’s say it’s just his job to make sure as many people vote even if there’s substantial voter fraud happening.

Most importantly, it’s his statement that Article VII is meaningless. If he won’t enforce Minnesota’s Constitution, what’s his responsibility? Does Mr. Ritchie think that it’s his job to make sure as many people as possible? Does he think that enforcing the Constitution is unimportant?

At a time when voter fraud is happening, when tens of thousands of PVCs are returned because the address doesn’t exist, Minnesota needs someone who’s interested in protecting legal voters.

Minnesotans love high voter turnout. They also demand that ther election laws be consistently applied. Mr. Ritchie fails that final part badly.

That’s why he’s got to go.

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In 2006, Mark Ritchie received tons of money from the now-defunct Secretary of State Project, aka SOSP, while campaigning as “nonpartisan Mark Ritchie.” The partisan hack that’s changing the titles to the constitutional amendments passed by the legislature isn’t neutral:

Ritchie on Monday announced that he changed the title of the amendment, which would require photo identification to vote, to appear on the ballot as, “Changes to In-Person and Absentee Voting and Voter Registration; Provisional Ballots.” Republicans had previously titled the amendment, “Photo Identification Required for Voting.”

This is part of Sec. Ritchie’s campaign against the proposed Photo ID constitutional amendment. That isn’t Ritchie’s worst transgression, though it exposes him as opposing election integrity.

The purpose behind Ritchie’s title change is his anti-Photo ID Chanting Point is the unsubstantiated implication that Photo ID is wildly expensive to counties. Mr. Ritchie knows that the cost of state-required Photo IDs would be borne by the state, not the counties.

Another thing mentioned in Ritchie’s title change is the use of provisional ballots, which Ritchie insists excessively complicates the election process. While any additional requirement creates more work, it doesn’t complicate life for election workers.

If a person who isn’t registered to vote requests a ballot, that person is required to register before getting a ballot. That’s true in our current system. That’s true in a Photo ID system.

The only change to the system is that an unregistered voter in a Photo ID environment is required to present their state-issued Photo ID. If they don’t product a state-issue ID, they’re given a provisional ballot instead of getting a regular ballot.

If the person doesn’t return to verify their identity, the provisional ballot isn’t counted. That’s why they’re called provisional ballots.

Finally, the only change made to absentee ballot voting is that a person would be required to show their state-issued Photo ID before their ballot is counted. Again, it’s an additional step in the process but it hardly complicates things.

Mr. Ritchie is attempting to make the case that any changes made will make Minnesota’s election system unnecessarily complicated. While he’s made that argument, he hasn’t offered proof that Minnesota’s election system would be that complicated in a Photo ID world.

It’s important that Mr. Ritchie enforces state and federal election laws. It’s equally important that he’s impartial in enforcing those laws. Whether he likes certain parts of the laws or whether he thinks they’re terrible isn’t relevant.

Most importantly, Ritchie’s blatant political activism makes it clear that he won’t impartially enforce Photo ID if it’s part of Minnesota’s Constitution.

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