For Immediate Release:
Monday, September 26, 2022
Public Interest Legal Foundation Sues County Auditors for Failing to Remove Duplicate Voter Registrations and Stop Double Voting
St. Paul, MN- The Public Interest Legal Foundation, represented by the Upper Midwest Law Center, filed today with the Secretary of State’s Office the first of several complaints against county auditors across Minnesota who have failed to uphold their obligation to remove duplicate entries from Minnesota’s Statewide Voter Registration Service (SVRS). The Foundation filed these complaints after its research uncovered hundreds of duplicate voter registrations in Minnesota, and the Secretary of State’s office disclaimed responsibility for keeping the SVRS clean, pointing instead to Minnesota’s county auditors.
The lawsuits are being filed under the Help America Vote Act, a 2002 federal law designed to eliminate duplicate voter registrations in statewide voter lists. The lawsuits seek the elimination of duplicate voter registrations in Minnesota and more effective policies to prevent future failures which erode election integrity.
The first complaint was filed against Nicollet County, which had 4 apparent duplicate registrations and at least one apparent instance of double voting. That one apparent instance is egregious: one individual civilly committed at the Minnesota Security Hospital as both mentally ill and dangerous, Damain Kingbird, voted absentee—twice—in the 2020 general election. This was fewer than four months after the same individual had his voting rights restored after a prior felony conviction.
J. Christian Adams, President of the Public Interest Legal Foundation, said: “Duplicate registrations give people the opportunity to vote twice. It is alarming that a career criminal like Damian Kingbird had the ability to vote twice in the 2020 election. He only had that opportunity because Minnesota election officials were not removing duplicate registrations as required by federal law.”
James Dickey, Senior Trial Counsel for the Upper Midwest Law Center, said: “One of the most obvious ways in which a person can vote twice is if they have two registrations to their name. Not surprisingly, both federal and Minnesota laws require the removal of duplicate voter registrations. These lawsuits simply ask the county auditors to perform one of their most important functions and eliminate this avenue to double voting in Minnesota.”
The Help America Vote Act requires the Secretary of State to oversee the case, and a decision must be issued within 90 days of the case’s filing.