A judge on Tuesday rejected an attempt to salvage a proposed charter amendment on the future of policing in Minneapolis, days before early and absentee voting began in the city where George Floyd died in police custody. No votes will be counted on the question. .
Hennepin County District Judge Jamie Anderson said the new language “does not ensure that voters are able to understand the essential purpose of the proposed amendment. It is unfair and misleading.”
An appeal of the 11th hour is expected. The Yes 4 Minneapolis campaign, which led the pro-Amendment campaign, petitioned the Minnesota Supreme Court ahead of time to hear an expedited appeal in case it lost.
The proposal has its roots in the “defund the police” movement, which gained momentum following Floyd’s death last summer, sparking protests, civil unrest and a national reckoning on racial justice.
The city council updated the language last week, just hours after Anderson ordered the first ballot to be closed because it was “vague, vague and incapable of implementation.”
The ballots are on the printer now. Anderson’s order allows the use of questionable ballots, but prevents election officials from counting votes on the issue.