ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota's new online voter registration system is headed to court.
A group of Republican lawmakers and conservative watchdog groups filed a lawsuit Monday seeking to suspend the Web-based system. It was implemented by Democratic Secretary of State Mark Ritchie this fall and has been used by at least 1,550 people to newly register or modify an existing registration.
The lawmakers argue that Ritchie lacked authority to unilaterally create the system. They contend that it should have been approved by the Legislature, and they said they worry about data security and election integrity.
Reacting to the case, Ritchie says he believes he is on firm legal ground and that the system will save taxpayer money.
In a news statement spokesperson Nathan Bowie says:
"We don't comment on litigation, but we are on firm legal ground providing eligible voters with common sense tools based on Minnesota law. Online voter registration follows a series of other digital services we have introduced to help Minnesotans, while saving taxpayers' money. Thousands have already benefited from these tools and we look forward to continuing to serve our citizens with the most efficient government possible. Our state is at the top of the nation in voter participation and election administration, and we work hard to make sure we stay number-one."
The case was filed in Ramsey County District Court. The plaintiff's attorneys want to fast-track it.
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