ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Three Republican legislators have met with Democratic Secretary of State Mark Ritchie over their belief he overstepped his authority by implementing an online voter registration system.
Senate Minority Leader David Hann, Sen. Scott Newman and Rep. Tim Sanders pressed Ritchie to suspend the site until the Legislature can formally weigh in. Ritchie declined, telling them in a follow-up letter that removing the site would be “a step backward.”
The secretary of state launched the Web-based system this fall and insists prior state law gave him the clearance he needed. Some Democrats, including Gov. Mark Dayton, say Ritchie should have gotten explicit approval from lawmakers first.
More than 1,500 people have gone online to register or update an existing registration. Method of registration is noted in the state’s system.