Lawsuits on ballot-board stacking consolidated by Minnesota Supreme Court

"These targeted cities and counties simply ignore the law, deploy biased city insiders to accept and reject ballots, and sidestep all outside scrutiny over their handling of mailed-in ballots.”

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The Minnesota Voters Alliance has filed several lawsuits against cities and counties for their  failure to place Republicans on absentee ballot boards — as is explicitly required by Minnesota law.

“In Minnesota this fall, as many as two million ballots will be processed by local absentee ballot boards, virtually none of which follow the laws governing staffing the boards and reviewing the ballot envelopes for legitimacy,” said MVA in a press release.

The release explains:  

“For years, Minnesota election officials have violated ballot board selection laws by using city or county staff to perform the duties of accepting and rejecting absentee ballots. 

The law, however, requires (1) that the ballot board be composed of election judges from lists submitted by the major political parties, (2) that each member of the ballot board declare his or her party affiliation, (3) that city and county staff (except for ‘deputies’) may not serve on the board, and (4) that election judges from both major parties review each absentee ballot envelope that is mailed in and either accept or reject it.

These targeted cities and counties simply ignore the law, deploy biased city insiders to accept and reject ballots, and sidestep all outside scrutiny over their handling of mailed-in ballots.”

MVA first sued Minneapolis, then Duluth, Ramsey County, and Olmsted County. On July 31, the Minnesota Supreme Court ordered the consolidation of MVA’s four petitions for Writs of Mandamus (asking the court to order these local officials to follow the law) into the Ramsey County District Courtroom of Thomas A. Gilligan, Jr. 

MVA called the development “great news,” because it “indicates the court’s seriousness in adjudicating this issue that hopefully will result in a statewide precedent.”

“Our request for an expedited hearing was granted by Judge Gilligan,” the group continued. “The hearing has been set for Wednesday, August 26 at 1:30 p.m. The Judge has ordered the hearing to be held remotely via Zoom.”

MVA said it has requested that the hearing be made public.