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Ritchie addresses federal lawsuit

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Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie in an interview last week briefly addressed the federal lawsuit in which he and two Crow Wing County officials are named that allege irregularities in Crow Wing County voting in 2010.

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He said accusations are not unusual in the aftermath of an election.

“Elections generate a lot of emotion,” he said.

Ritchie, Crow Wing County Attorney Don Ryan, Crow Wing County Auditor-Treasurer Laureen Borden, representatives of Ramsey County and Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson were all named in the lawsuit. The plaintiffs in the lawsuit are the Minnesota Voters Alliance, The Minnesota Freedom Council, Sondra Erickson, Montgomery Jensen, Ron Kaus, Jodi Lynn Nelson and Sharon Stene.

Cilek contended the state’s practices permits ineligible voters to cast their ballots and have them counted.

When initially contacted regarding the lawsuit, a secretary of state’s office spokesperson said the office never comments on lawsuits.

On Friday, Ritchie said he didn’t know the particular circumstances of Crow Wing County incidents but he knew incidents had been investigated by Crow Wing County law officials. He said he was very comfortable with the election system, noting that election judges representing both parties are present at the polls every step of the way on Election Day.

MIKE O’ROURKE may be reached at mike.orourke@brainerddispatch.com or 855-5860. He may be followed on Twitter at MikeORourkenews.

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Mike O'Rourke
Mike O'Rourke began his career at the Brainerd Dispatch in 1978 as a general assignment reporter. He was named city editor in 1981 and associate editor in 1999. He covers politics and writes features and editorials.
(218) 855-5860
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