Group sues over voter registration records

Published 10:55 am Friday, May 29, 2009

A group of conservatives sued Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and 25 county election officials Thursday over allegedly incomplete voter records.

Minnesota Majority president Jeff Davis said the counties failed to post voter history updates as required within six weeks of the November 2008 election. His lawsuit also alleges that Ritchie’s office has yet to update voter records to reflect all those who voted.

Davis said the lawsuit was filed Thursday with the Minnesota Supreme Court.

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Ritchie, a Democrat, said the attorney general’s office will respond to the lawsuit.

The secretary of state said his office completed annual maintenance of the statewide voter registration system on April 1, with an initial discrepancy of 40,000 records between the state canvassing board’s count and the database. He said county officials are still updating the records and that number has since dropped to 20,000 to 30,000.

That’s far below nearly 407,000 missing records alleged by Minnesota Majority.

“The number is from them. It’s not supported by any facts,” Ritchie said.

Ritchie added the integrity of Minnesota’s voting system has been thoroughly vetted in the U.S. Senate recount and subsequent election contest between Republican Norm Coleman and Democrat Al Franken.

“That is an unbelievable stamp of approval on our system,” he said.

The lawsuit asks the Minnesota Supreme Court to declare the officials in violation of state law and make them pay attorneys’ fees for the plaintiffs.