News Release

Ritchie on voting

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, Minnesota's manager of township, city, county and state elections

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, Minnesota's manager of township, city, county and state elections.

Mark Ritchie, Minnesota secretary of state, will discuss civic engagement 11 a.m.-noon Oct. 10 in the Voyageurs Room of Atwood Memorial Center.

The free public event is part of Fall Colloquia in the School of Public Affairs.

Following the presentation, Ritchie will assist with a 10 a.m.-2 p.m. voter registration drive on Atwood Mall.

“With a number of important items on the ballot, and the possibility to choose politicians who will be forming the laws that impact all of us, making sure that people are registered to vote so their voices can be heard is vital this year,” said Kyle Ward, director of the Social Studies Education Program.

An event organizer, Ward said Ritchie took part in the 2008 voter drive on campus and was highly impressed with the number of students who came out to register.

Ritchie’s responsibilities include partnering with township, city and county officials to organize elections on behalf of Minnesota’s 3.7 million eligible voters. Ritchie filed a legal motion to substitute new ballot titles for both amendments to clarify the Legislature’s intent. In August, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled the secretary of state does not have authority to determine ballot language.

Ritchie's presentation is one of three this fall related to the Voter I.D. Amendment before voters in the Nov. 6 General Election.

  • Public-policy lawyer Keehsa Gaskins '96, a nationally known voter-suppression expert, presents 3 p.m. Oct. 22 in Atwood on "Voter I.D.: Restrictions on Voting Rights – How We Got There and Where We Need to Go."

  • Kathy Bonnifield and Kenza Hadj-Moussa of Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota present 2 p.m. Oct. 23. They'll argue passage of the amendment could prevent eligible voters from voting.

In September, Kevin Lindsey, Minnesota commissioner of human rights, visited campus to lead a "Minnesota Photo ID Amendment & Voting Rights Education Forum."

Related websites:

Parking is free on streets adjacent to campus and a dollar per hour in the 4th Avenue Parking Ramp.

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