The Minnesota Voters Alliance filed a lawsuit against Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, Monday, for what the advocacy group sees as his failure to uphold voter eligibility laws.
“In Minnesota, the state verifies a voter’s eligibility after an election and then marks the person’s voter record as ‘challenged’ if it cannot confirm the voter’s felon status, citizenship, residence, or other eligibility criteria,” the Alliance explained in a press release. The issue is that Simon is also enforcing Minnesota Rule 8210.0225 which stipulates that “challenged” voters are to be treated as merely “not-registered” persons when voting absentee.
This loophole allows illegal aliens, felons and non-Minnesota residents to avoid challenge when voting absentee. “If you were identified as an ineligible felon or a non-citizen after you last voted, you can vote absentee with no need to overcome the challenge status,” explains the Alliance.
“The Secretary of State’s election procedures therefore violate Minnesota statutes that expressly require ‘vetting’ all persons with a challenged status when they apply for absentee ballots,” says the Alliance.
And this problem isn’t merey theoretical, says the Alliance, which points out that in 2016 alone over 26,000 persons marked as challenged on the polling rosters cast a ballot according to the Office of the Legislative Auditor (OLA). The OLA later examined a portion of those 26,000+ votes and determined that just 3% of the cross section they analyzed were actually eligible to vote.
Minnesota has also promoted absentee voting since 2014 by no longer requiring that a citizen hoping to vote remotely provide a reason before being issued a ballot, according to the Star Tribune.
Issues with ballot box security aren’t new in Minnesota. In 2008, the state’s now-disgraced former Senator Al Franken won by a margin of .01%, overcoming his opponent by just 312 votes. In that election, between 1,099 and 1,670 ineligible felons voted, according to Minnesota Majority. Mainstream outlets have acknowledged this finding, concluding that there’s a good chance Al Franken won in 2008 as a result of sub-par electoral security.