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Altered Minn. Amendments Spur Partisanship Charges

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Charges of partisanship flew at a Minnesota Senate hearing into proposed constitutional amendments that gained different topline names than the Legislature voted on earlier.

Republicans who called Friday’s hearing said Democratic Secretary of State Mark Ritchie was overstepping his bounds by interfering with two amendments bound for November’s ballot and being so vocal about potential effects.

One would add a ban on same-sex marriage to the state constitution and the other would change polling place procedures, including making photo IDs a requirement for voting.

Democrats, in turn, said Republicans backers of the amendments were ignoring state law that could give Ritchie power to fashion amendment titles despite legislative actions.

The dispute has made its way to the courts. Supporters of both amendments have sued to overturn Ritchie’s revised ballot titles.

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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