FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Tuesday, January 25, 2022
UMLC Challenges Legality of the SOS’ Administrative Rule on Absentee Ballot Verification
Golden Valley, MN – The Upper Midwest Law Center (UMLC), on behalf of the Minnesota Voters Alliance, filed a lawsuit against the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State in the Court of Appeals today.
The lawsuit challenges an administrative rule adopted by the Secretary of State that conflicts with the Minnesota statute requiring absentee ballot board members to verify that absentee ballots belong to the voter named on the ballot and ballot application. The challenged rule limits the situations in which a ballot may be rejected to only those where the name signed is clearly a different name than the name of the voter as printed on the signature envelope.
“Absentee balloting has become the preferred method of voting in Minnesota because of COVID-19,” said Andy Cilek, the Executive Director for Minnesota Voters Alliance. “Yet the Secretary of State’s conflicting rule makes it impossible for ballot board members to verify that absentee ballots are really from the person who applied for them. The rule must be struck down to ensure Minnesota has integrity in the handling of absentee ballots.”
The administrative rule guts the statutory requirement on absentee ballot signatures and creates a conflict in execution of election law. The rule allows for the acceptance of absentee ballots that do not match the signatory requirements set in Minnesota statute.
“The Secretary of State’s rule conflicts with Minnesota’s absentee ballot verification statute,” said James Dickey, Senior Trial Counsel for UMLC. “It makes it impossible for election judges and ballot board members to do their job of verifying the voter named on an absentee ballot actually cast his or her vote. Because the Secretary of State has created unnecessary confusion, our clients are asking the courts to step in and strike down this confusing rule.”
For more information, please see the petition for declaratory judgement.
Upper Midwest Law Center is a non-profit, public interest law firm with the mission to initiate pro-freedom litigation to protect against constitutional violations, government overreach, special interest agendas and public union corruption and abuses. UMLC is a 501(c)(3) organization.