The head of a conservative watchdog group looking for voting irregularities denied Thursday that its callers were trying to intimidate voters, which he called a baseless charge used by Secretary of State Mark Ritchie to stymie the group's investigation.
Jeff Davis, president of Minnesota Majority, said that the nonprofit group is using voter registration lists to check for duplicate records, vacant voting addresses, incomplete registration forms, illegal teenage registration and multiple ballots cast by a single voter.
What they've found so far, he said, suggests a significant number of problems.
"I would think the secretary of state would say, thank you for doing this," Davis said.
Former Secretary of State Mary Kiffmeyer, a Republican who was defeated by DFLer Ritchie in 2006, worked for Minnesota Majority for about six months before leaving to run for office this year. Davis said she was not involved in the voter project.
At a news conference Wednesday, Ritchie had cited two recent examples of what he called "voter intimidation" and said that a call involving a St. Paul resident had been referred to the Ramsey County attorney's office and the U.S. Attorney.
Jean Sanford, the volunteer who had called the St. Paul man Tuesday, said she told him nothing that could have intimidated him. She said she never referred to the secretary of state, which he said she did.
On Thursday, attorneys for Minnesota Majority requested copies of Ritchie's correspondence with other agencies on the case. John Aiken, a spokesman for Ritchie, said his office was forwarding the correspondence.