Tuesday, the Minnesota Voters Alliance (a We Want Voter ID partner) will conduct a press conference to announce filing of a lawsuit in U.S. District Court challenging the constitutionality of Minnesota election laws that fail to confirm eligibility of persons prior to permitting their ballots to count as votes in election contests.
From the group’s media advisory:
The lawsuit is not about taking away anyone’s right to vote. It does not seek to prevent election day registration. It asks the court to prevent the state from waiving, on election day, the eligibility requirements embodied in the Minnesota Constitution. Everyone who votes on election day should have his or her ballot counted, but only after their eligibility has been confirmed.
“The Complaint petitions the court to stop the state of Minnesota from waiving voter eligibility requirements for thousands of persons, as it did for more than 500,000 registering to vote on election day in the 2008 general election. The Complaint alleges that those waivers in 2008 resulted in at least 48,000 individuals being subsequently unconfirmable as eligible voters, yet their ballots had already been counted. This means that voters, known before the election to be entitled to vote, are having their choice of candidates elected or defeated by the counted ballots of those who have not been confirmed as eligible to vote.
It is now known that the State and counties have allowed hundreds of felons who have not had their civil rights restored, to vote. Additionally, in at least one county, Crow Wing County, facts reveal that persons under guardianship orders with suspended rights to vote, did in fact register to vote and did vote.
The Complaint also describes the history of close elections in Minnesota, including the well-known 2008 election of U.S. Senator Al Franken by 312 votes. Other state elections show winners by margins less than 90 votes and at least one school district race being decided by one vote. Thus, the inability of the State and counties to confirm the eligibility, after the election, of hundreds, if not thousands, of persons who voted, cannot be described as insignificant. The implications of counting the ballots of ineligible voters are profound.
The press conference will be held in room 181 of the State Office Building (100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.) at 10 AM on Tuesday, February 28th.