MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — By now you have no doubt seen the ads on both sides of the Marriage Amendment and there are more to come.

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Both sides say they expect the vote to be very close. In a conversation with Star Tribune Columnist John Rash, WCCO’s Esme Murphy talked about some of the issues driving this issue to the top of Minnesota’s political agenda.

Rash: It really is a significant issue and it has gotten a significant amount of, not just statewide, but national attention. As you know, this is a ballot issue that has gone in front of 30 other states either as a constitutional issue here or as a ballot issue and in all of those states it has gone in one direction and that has been to decline the opportunity for same-sex marriages.

Murphy: There is also the issue that if someone skips this on the ballot it counts as a no vote.

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Rash: The hurdle is always higher and it is the same thing for the photo ID amendment, as well but at times because ballots are getting increasingly long — every state senator and state representative is up, we have a U.S. Senate race, a presidential race, sometimes people don’t completely fill out their ballots and that counts as a no vote.

Rash: The communications campaigns have been decidedly different — Minnesotan’s United for All Families, those that want Minnesotans to vote no have had several high profile commercials, generally those have featured people of a certain generation, who say they are comfortable with this and others should be, too. They also use notably former Gov. Ventura and First Lady Terry Ventura framing this issue not as one of a same-sex relationship but one of freedom and what, in his view, the constitution should be used for is to give rights and not take them away.

Conversely the group that would like Minnesotans to vote yes have used more of a date-driven type argument talking about what has happened in other states and notably they have used a former television anchor Kalley King Yanta who has brought the message forward to Minnesotans. Where this ends up remains to be seen.

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You can read John Rash’s column every Saturday in the Star Tribune and you can listen to him every weekday at 7:55 a.m. on our sister station WCCO-AM.

Esme Murphy