State ballot measures -- the name game

  • Updated: July 26, 2012 - 8:41 PM

A 1919 Minnesota law says, 'The secretary of state shall provide an appropriate title' for every question on the ballot.

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middleman711Jul. 25, 12 8:29 PM

The adjective "appropriate" presupposes that there are "inappropriate" titles. So once again, a contentious issue of statutory interpretation will lead to recourse in the courts. Not, I'm sure, what the authors of the 1919 law had in mind.

spartavilleJul. 25, 12 8:42 PM

Why is it our STATE constitution can be altered to limit my ability to vote for FEDERAL office such as President? How is it fair that one state would have more restrictive voting rules for Prez than another? That could result in someone in, say, NY being allowed to vote when under the same circumstance I cannot vote in MN. Seems to me only the US Constitution should hold any sway over federal elections. Seems to me a state's constitution should only affect statewide or local elections.

martiankingJul. 25, 12 9:15 PM

This sounds like a legit response to the authors complaint. Case closed. Now do some job creating for the masses, not the one percenters.

JP55901Jul. 25, 12 9:16 PM

I LOVE IT!!!!!

kvarnoldJul. 25, 12 9:20 PM

Unless someone comes up with something superseding this law in the intervening years, the critics need to shut up...seems like it is up to the SOS to determine "appropriate".

mgmckeJul. 25, 12 9:23 PM

spartaville: The 10th amendment "reserves" those powers not expressly given to the federal government for the states. The individual states control elections.

minn12Jul. 25, 12 9:35 PM

The earlier law makers could not have known that in 2012 we'd have a George Soros-financed liberal biased political hack Secretary of State, intent on defeating the amendment. Ritchie's 'title' is nothing more than a blatant attempt to confuse voters.

a6699fJul. 25, 12 9:46 PM

@Minn12: What part of "The secretary of state shall provide an appropriate title" do you fail to understand?

SammyBoyJul. 25, 12 9:57 PM

@minn12 - Rule of law applies. Who cares about the source, intent, or side of the bed you woke up on. This extremely reasoned article points out that in 1919, the Minnesota Legislative body passed a law placing the final say on all ballot initiative titles in the hands of the Secretary of State. Now, obviously any legislative body can override prior law through the normal legislative process, but since the backers of these two amendments attached the titles as "riders" to the amendment authorization, the veto pen of the Governor struck any non-amendment modifications from the law. Just like the extremely real-world example that Pawlenty vetoed that had an attached gas tax increase, the amendment stayed, but the extraneous stuff was stripped out. So, regardless of your predilections in the voting booth, this is the rule of law, and the rule of law cannot be changed, superseded, or ignored just because one finds it inconvenient, upsetting, or an affront to your personal tastes... at least without it following the often-traveled and well-documented path of how a bill becomes law. It's that simple. The only reason why the Minnesota Supreme Court is reviewing these instead of a lower court (the normal process) is probably both for expediency and to prevent the chance of appeals from preventing these amendments from appearing on the November ballot or a later appeal tossing out a legitimate election result. Let the process play out, and if you don't like to results, use your power as a voter to demand change. If that's not enough, volunteer or even submit yourself as a candidate. I don't care about the partisanship so much as the absolute apathy among the supposedly "fired up" electorate. Do something about it rather than sitting on your chair and gripping to the internet. If not, it's only the most extreme and volatile of people who end up in office (see Bachmann, Michelle), or those who are looking for personal gain (see all the various Ds and Rs indicted for bribe-taking or power-tripping with expensive hookers or bathroom rendezvous.)

merkinJul. 25, 12 9:58 PM

Ritchie's title clarifies the amendment for voters. The Republicans hope people won't find out what it's really about.


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