Endorsement: Re-elect Ritchie Secretary of State
If ever a secretary of state was tested, it was in 2008 during the recount of Minnesota's U.S. Senate race between Al Franken in Norm Coleman. Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie not only passed the test, but also set standards for other states to emulate. As a bitter political storm swirled around the recount, Ritchie conducted himself and managed his office with professionalism and studious non-partisanship. In the end, the process, which ultimately included the courts, reaffirmed the state's reputation as place where elections are conducted fairly.
Ritchie's office has been about more than the recount. (He followed up by seeking advice from across the state about how recounts could be done better). His office has been the leader in election changes that have improved access to the polls, guarded against voter fraud, better served veterans and improved vote counting. His office also has streamlined data processing to better serve business.
Challenger Dan Severson seems to be running a one-note campaign about requiring voter ID. But that's a legislative matter that needs more consideration than a sound bite.
Ritchie has done a good job with all functions of the office. He's earned re-election.