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Associated Press, Published July 31 2012

Minn. court weighs edited ballot question titles

ST. PAUL — The Minnesota Supreme Court is pondering a dispute over the ballot titles for two proposed constitutional amendments in November after questioning attorneys on both sides.

The justices heard oral arguments Tuesday after the state's top election official substituted his own titles for the ones approved by the Legislature, prompting supporters of the amendments to sue.

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie changed the titles for a proposed constitutional ban on gay marriage and a proposed photo identification requirement for voters.

Attorney Jordan Lorence says Ritchie must submit to the Legislature's higher authority to title the ballot questions.

But Solicitor General Alan Gilbert says that could undo 90 years of constitutional amendments passed under a law giving the secretary of state authority to write titles.

The court is expected to rule within a month.

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