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For Secretary of State: Mark Ritchie

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The Secretary of State race is a choice between Democrat incumbent Mark Ritchie or Republican challenger Dan Severson.

It is a choice between Ritchie's professionalism and election integrity and Severson's single-issue focus on requiring voter photo identification.

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Ritchie is far and above the best candidate in this race.

Severson has served as Republican minority whip in the Minnesota House of Representatives, a highly partisan position. His focus on requiring voter photo identification, as he believes the state's voting is rife witht fraud, is disappointing. In reality, Minnesota's voting system has produced among the highest participation rates in the nation with little voter fraud evidence. The voter ID requirement would disenfranchise Minnesota voters, especially seniors and overseas military personnel by making it harder to vote and increasing election costs in precincts where mail-in voting is used as a cost-savings strategy.

Ritchie has performed admirably during his first term. He was at the center of the 2008 election recount in the Franken-Coleman race and performed with dignity and professionalism, confirming Minnesota's reputation for fair and well-run elections. He did not rest on his laurels --moving to improve access to polls, improving consistency by counting absentee ballots at central county locations, guarding against voter fraud and improving the vote counting system. He also worked to improve business registration processes through better software and improved Internet access. Most importantly, he continually maintained his office's professionalism and nonpartisanship. Ritchie deserves re-election in 2010.

We endorse Ritchie for re-election as secretary of state.

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