A group of Republican lawmakers and candidates filed a last-minute lawsuit Monday night to block the State Canvassing Board from certifying the results of the Nov. 3 election.
The lawsuit, filed with the Minnesota Supreme Court against Secretary of State Steve Simon, claims “Minnesota Democrats have used COVID-19 as a tool to alter long-standing election law and procedure, after the Republican controlled Senate refused to consent to the changes.”
The complaint was organized by a group calling itself the Minnesota Election Integrity Team, founded earlier this month by Jose and Sandra Jimenez, both recent candidates for state office.
According to a press release, the group determined that the controversial Dominion Voting Systems was used in at least six of Minnesota’s 87 counties. Additionally, the Minnesota Election Integrity Team claims that its volunteers gathered eyewitness testimony, pictures and videos “demonstrating that securing ballots and absentee envelopes, and adhering to party balance requirements in election judges as required by law were not being met.”
The State Canvassing Board is scheduled to meet at 2 p.m. Tuesday to certify the results, but the lawsuit asks for a temporary restraining order to prevent that from happening until “a complete, bi-partisan, statewide audit of the election occurs.”
The suit claims that the State Canvassing Board will “likely certify county canvassing reports that certified election results that have not yet been subject to a Postelection Review that fully complies with Minnesota Election law, are fraudulent and include ballots that cannot be verified.”
State Reps. Steve Drazkowski, Tim Miller, and Jeremy Munson joined the lawsuit and accused Simon of illegally altering Minnesota’s election laws.
“His office issued unlawful consent decrees that greatly affected the rules that govern absentee ballots and who can assist people at the polls. To circumvent the Minnesota Legislature and unilaterally change election law is entirely unconstitutional. This abuse of power must be addressed,” they said in a joint statement.
The Republican lawmakers said Simon’s “haphazard rule changes resulted in absentee votes being treated differently from county to county.”
“As such, we are requesting that the certification of this election be suspended until these issues can be addressed in a lawful manner,” they said.
“Secretary Simon’s manipulation of state law caused election rules to vary every month. This created great confusion and inconsistency for many voters,” the statement continued. “Moreover, Simon issued his unlawful consent decrees in consultation with Democratic, nonprofit organizations. Contrary to Steve Simon’s beliefs, only the Minnesota Legislature has the power to change election law. The Secretary’s refusal to adhere to constitutional principles is an affront to free and fair elections. We intend to fix this mess.”