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Judge halts Minnesota online voter signup system

Sec. of State Mark Ritchie
Sec. of State Mark Ritchie

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - A judge has ordered Minnesota's new online voter registration system be shut down because of the way it was established.

Ramsey County District Judge John Guthmann said in his ruling Monday that Secretary of State Mark Ritchie was wrong to set it up without legislative permission. He ordered Ritchie to close the system down by midnight Tuesday, but said any registrations made through the site previously would remain valid.

The ruling comes in a lawsuit brought by two conservative groups and a collection of Republican legislators. Mindful of the possible ruling, the Legislature has been considering a bill this year to allow online registration to continue. The Senate plans to take the legislation up Tuesday.

Thousands of people registered through the site that Ritchie's office launched in September.

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