Minnesota high court OKs ballot question on Minneapolis PD

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The Minnesota Supreme Court has cleared the way for Minneapolis to vote on the future of police in the city where George Floyd was killed.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The Minnesota Supreme Court has cleared the way for Minneapolis to vote on the future of police in the city where George Floyd was killed.

The state’s highest court on Thursday night overturned a lower court ruling that disapproved of the city council’s voting language.

The lower court said the wording did not adequately describe the implications of a proposed amendment to the statutes that would replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a new public safety department that could “lock in” police officers “if necessary”.

But the Supreme Court ordered the voting to continue.

The Supreme Court has been under pressure to act quickly as the early voting starts at 8 a.m. on Friday.

THIS IS A LATEST UPDATE. AP’s earlier story follows below.

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – The Minnesota Supreme Court on Thursday passed a narrow verdict on a vote on a poll question on the future of the Minneapolis police force, but the larger question of whether the public can vote on the issue has not been resolved.

Supreme Justice Lorie Gildea’s decision overturned a small portion of a lower court order that rejected the city council-approved ballot language and said election officials are not required to attach notes to ballot papers instructing people not to vote on the issue, and that all votes is not counted.

The order did not address the main issue – whether voters could decide on a proposed amendment to the statutes that would replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a new public safety department that could “involve” police officers “if necessary.”

The proposal has its roots in the Defund the Police movement, which gained momentum following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody last summer, but it leaves critical details about the new agency to be determined later.

The Supreme Court has been under pressure to make a quick decision as the Minneapolis local elections on Friday opened for early voting and postal voting and had ballots already in print.

Terrance Moore, an attorney for the Yes 4 Minneapolis campaign that led the proposal, said he expected a decision to be made on the larger issue at a later date. The city’s prosecutor agreed that the Supreme Court is not yet to rule on the most important issues.

Joe Anthony, an attorney for former Alderman Don Samuels, and two other people who questioned the election language as misleading, called the arrangement “a little mysterious.” He noted that the lower court’s injunction prohibiting the counting and reporting of votes had remained in force, at least for the time being. There are a couple of options for what could happen next, he said, including the Supreme Court, which takes time to argue at length and then has until Nov. 2 to decide whether the votes cast count.

Steve Karnowski, The Associated Press

Comments are closed.