Judge orders Minnesota online voter registration shut down - KMSP-TV

Judge orders Minnesota online voter registration shut down

Posted: Updated:
ST. PAUL, Minn. (KMSP) -

A Ramsey County judge's order says Minnesota's online voter registration system must be shut down, because Secretary of State Mark Ritchie didn’t get legislative approval.

Judge John Guthmann’s ruling, handed down Monday, is a response to a lawsuit brought by 4 Republican lawmakers and a pair of conservative watchdog groups.

WHAT IF I REGISTERED ONLINE?

The judge’s order calls for the system to be shut down by midnight Tuesday. Registrations already completed through mnvotes.sos.state.mn.us will remain valid.

LEGISLATURE RESPONDS

Aware of the lawsuit, Minnesota lawmakers have been considering a bill this session to keep online registration available to voters. A bill for permanent online voter registration passed the House on Monday by a 129-2 vote, with a vote expected in the Senate on Tuesday.

“Online voter registration will soon become law in Minnesota despite today’s court decision," Rep. Steve Simon (DFL-Hopkins) said in a statement. "Thanks to legislative action, we’re about to revive a common-sense policy that strengthens Minnesotans’ ability to participate in our democratic process.”

"While we respectfully disagree with the recent decision by the Ramsey County District Court, we look forward to the Minnesota Legislature making online registration permanent," Secretary of State Mark Ritchie said in a statement. "This tool has already proven its ability to reduce tax payer costs by modernizing the work of local government. Online registration has been embraced by Minnesota voters who appreciate the security and ease of the process.”

WHO FILED THE LAWSUIT?

- Minnesota Majority

- The Minnesota Voters Alliance

- Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R-Mazeppa)

- Rep. Mary Franson (R-Alexandria)

- Rep. Ernie Leidiger (R-Mayer)

- Rep. Jim Newberger (R-Becker)

ONLINE REGISTRATION STATS

Since the online voter registration system was launched in September 2013, 3,631 eligible Minnesota voters have registered online.

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