Hearing set for Monday on Minneapolis police ballot question

A statue looks at a stack of boxes.
Father of Waters, the large granite sculpture in the lobby of Minneapolis City Hall, gazes upon more than 20,000 petition signatures in support of a charter amendment to replace the Minneapolis Police Department with a Department of Public Safety in Minneapolis on April 30.
Evan Frost | MPR News

A judge has scheduled hearing for Monday on an effort to keep a charter amendment on the future of policing off the ballot in Minneapolis.

Attorneys for former Minneapolis City Council member Don Samuels and others filed the motion late Wednesday, saying the council failed when it approved new ballot language Tuesday to solve the problems that led Hennepin County Judge Jamie Anderson to order the measure stricken from the ballot earlier in the day.

They said it remains unclear precisely what the amendment will do and how the changes could be implemented within 30 days of the election.

The court calendar posted Friday shows that Anderson has scheduled a hearing for 9 a.m. Monday.

City attorneys urged the court to reject the motion, calling it a “political effort” to prevent voters from deciding. They said the new language is almost identical to what Samuels' attorneys requested.

County officials did not immediately reply to a request for comment on whether it was still possible to change the ballots.

County Elections Manager Ginny Gelms warned in a sworn court filing last week that 5 p.m. Tuesday was the printer's deadline for changing the ballots. Early in-person voting begins next Friday, and the county and city are required by law to distribute absentee ballots by next Friday to people who've requested them. She warned that delays would risk disenfranchising overseas voters, including members of the military.

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