MVA Challenges Illegal Absentee Ballot Board Rule in Lawsuit
The Minnesota Voters Alliance (MVA) and co-plaintiffs State Representatives Eric Lucero, Mary Franson, Duane Quam, and several election judges this week filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State Steve Simon for implementing a rule relating to absentee ballot boards that conflicts with the law.
Minnesota has a long tradition of citizen oversight and party balance in our election activities. It’s an example of Minnesota nice and our sense of fairness.
Thanks to a rule unlawfully promulgated by hyper-partisan Secretary of State Simon, Absentee ballots aren’t being treated with the nice and fair Minnesota way of doing things. Rule 8210.2450 does away with party balance, though the law requires it. Rules are subservient to and cannot change or contradict statute.
Because of this illegal rule, hundreds of thousands of absentee ballots this November will be examined and accepted or rejected by unlawfully appointed staff, without regard for party balance or the oversight of properly appointed citizen election judges.
Unbeknownst to almost everyone, the ballot boards that are responsible for determining which absentee ballots are properly submitted to be counted are being stacked with partisan bureaucrats instead of the citizen judges of balanced political affiliation required by law.
Governing election jurisdictions are only allowed to supplement staff members when the lists of available election judges appointed by the major political parties are exhausted, but those lists are largely discarded.
Further, these illegally appointed bureaucrats are being illegally excused from declaring their party affiliations. The law unequivocally requires board members to disclose their party affiliations and since they aren’t, the law requiring that each absentee ballot be examined by at least two judges of different major political parties is also being ignored.
The secretary of state’s published rule, 8210.2450 is in direct conflict with Minnesota Statute 203B.121, is therefore invalid. That’s the basis of the MVA’s lawsuit seeking declaratory judgement in the Minnesota Court of Appeals to stop this unfair and unlawful practice before it can affect the credibility of this fall’s monumental elections.