Minnesota's election system should feel no direct impact from Tuesday’s U.S. Supreme Court decision on the Voting Rights Act, state elections officials said.
Secretary of State Mark Ritchie and Ramsey County Elections Director Joe Mansky said the affected sections of the Voting Rights Act applied primarily to southern states with a history of racial discrimination in elections. Minnesota has never been on that list of so-called "covered jurisdictions."
The court’s conservative majority, in a 5-4 decision, invalidated a section of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that allows federal oversight of voting changes in those parts of the country. The law has been used to by the Obama Administration to block or change photo ID requirements in southern states. The court said Congress should write a new law redefining which states should be covered.
“We traditionally follow this issue closely,” Mansky said. “We don’t want to become a ‘covered jurisdiction.’ He said the best way to do that is to make sure the elections process is open to all.
Ritchie said the split decision is unfortunate, and noted that the law itself sailed through a reauthorization vote and signing by then-President George W. Bush in 2006.
"This was clearly a deep partisan split," Ritchie said of the court's ruling. "Most people would like to see something other than deeply divided partisan decisions on elections."
An unanswered question in the decision, Mansky said, concerns the status of photo ID in southern states. Again, that would not affect Minnesota, because voters rejected a proposed photo ID requirement in the November general election.
Gov. Mark Dayton said he had not studied the decision but considers it a "a terrible backtracking on what has been established for 50 years."
More from Star Tribune
More from Hot Dish Politics
Voting began Friday in Minnesota, one of the earliest states in the nation.
Sen. Franken joins Sen. Rand Paul in pushing to halt Saudi arms sales
Gov. Mark Dayton, speaking to a mostly Republican audience at the annual Minnesota Business Partnership dinner, repeated his familiar attack on the House GOP, blaming them for a legislative impasse on transportation.
Dayton's remarks came to a mostly Republican audience at the annual Minnesota Business Partnership dinner.
In collaboration with the Minnesota Twins, Secretary of State Steve Simon urges Minnesotans to vote.
Recommended For You
The uniquely uncivil presidential campaign is about to produce one of the biggest civic gatherings in decades: For 90 minutes on Monday night, a polarized…
Better talent at linebacker gives defensive coordinator Jay Sawvel more flexibility in devising game plans, but execution as an entire defense remains a work in progress.
Voters must know more about candidate's possible financial ties.
Over decades, he's taken the art of tapping taxpayer largesse and exploiting tax law loopholes to heights few have approached.
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is arguing that he'll do more to help women from the White House than Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. At the same time, he's taunting her over the infidelities of her husband.
Recommended For You
A divided U.S. Supreme Court refused Wednesday to reinstate North Carolina's voter identification requirement and keep just 10 days of early in-person voting.
A Wisconsin election official expressed concern Tuesday that the Department of Transportation might not be able to get voting credentials to people who lack photo identification on Election Day in time to ensure that their ballots will count.
The sponsor of a proposed initiative to repeal Montana's medical marijuana law said Wednesday he won't appeal a judge's refusal to place the measure on November's ballot, but instead will focus on defeating a separate initiative to expand medical pot distribution.
Voters in tightly contested North Carolina have seen the presidential candidates and their surrogates a lot this summer.
Oklahomans began early voting Thursday ahead of next week's primary runoff elections, even as attorneys pledged to challenge a judge's recent ruling upholding the state's voter ID law.