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Group Pushing for Marriage Ban Rebuts Minn. Official's Move to Rebrand Ballot Measure

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Associated Press
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July 19, 2012

Advocates for a constitutional amendment bolstering a Minnesota ban on marriage for same-sex couples acknowledged concern Wednesday that a wording change imposed by the secretary of state would prove costly on Election Day.

In a legal brief filed ahead of a late-July Minnesota Supreme Court hearing, lawyers for Republican lawmakers and Minnesota for Marriage said it was improper for Democratic Secretary of State Mark Ritchie to substitute the title to appear above the November ballot question.

The lawyers criticized the wording he chose as misleading and said it could sway votes.

“Even small changes in the wording of ballot measures and titles can have a dramatic effect on the election results,” according to the brief. It was signed by Minneapolis attorney Erick Kaardal but assembled by a group of local and national attorneys who want the court to reverse Ritchie’s changes.