Justia Election Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Minnesota Supreme Court
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The Supreme Court granted a petition sought by Petitioner seeking an order authorizing Petitioner to send notices about errors on the for the Murray County ballot for the November 8, 2022 general election to all mail ballot voters and to all voters who had already requested an absentee ballot, holding that Petitioner was entitled to relief.The petition asserted that the ballot at issue incorrectly identified the district number for the Minnesota legislative officers as Senate District 22 and House District 22A. Petitioner did not seek to correct the errors on the ballot but sought to send notices regarding the errors and the authority to post the same notice in all Murray County polling places. The Supreme Court granted the petition, holding that Petitioner proposed an appropriate plan to remedy the ballot errors. View "In re Murray County Ballot" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court ordered that Petitioners shall correct the ballot for the November 8, 2022 general election because the general election ballot used by voters in Roseau County and Kittson County omitted information required by Minnesota law.Roseau and Kittson Counties filed petitions under Minn. Stat. 204B.44(a) to correct errors on the November 8, 2022 general election ballot, stating the the ballots in each county failed to include the political party affiliation for federal and state candidates and failed to include the word "incumbent" next to names of currently-serving judicial candidates. The Supreme Court ordered that the counties shall correct the ballot for the November 8, 2022 general election and that Petitioners shall resume delivery of ballots to voters after they receive corrected ballots from their vendors. View "In re Roseau County Ballot for the November 8, 2022 General Election" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court approved a plan proposed by Petitioner to correct an error on the November 8, 2022 general election ballot in this petition brought by the Ramsey County Elections Manager under Minn. Stat. 204B.44(a) with minor modifications.Due to a clerical error, Ramsey County ballots incorrectly listed Beverly Peterson, and not Scott Hesselgrave, as the Republican Party candidate for Minnesota House District 67A. Petitioner sought an order authorizing correction of the ballot for House District 67A, distribution of the corrected ballot, and procedures for counting these voters' ballots. The Supreme Court held that it was authorized to correct the ballot error and the Petitioner proposed an appropriate plan to remedy the error. View "In re 2022 General Election Ballot" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court denied this petition asking that the Court order removal of Torrey Westrom from the November 8, 2022 general election ballot as a candidate for Senate District 12, holding that Petitioner was not entitled to relief.Petitioner alleged that Westrom, the current state senator for District 12, was not eligible for reelection to that office because he could satisfy the residency requirement of the Minnesota Constitution. Specifically, Petitioner alleged that Westrom will not have resided in Senate District 12 for the required six-month period prior to the general election. A referee concluded that Petitioners failed to prove that Westrom was ineligible to run for state legislative office in District 12 in the November general election. The Supreme Court denied the petition and granted the Attorney General's request to be dismissed from the matter, holding that Petitioners' objections failed. View "Fischer v. Simon" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the court of appeals affirming the judgment of the district court dismissing the petitions for writs of mandamus filed by Minnesota Voters Alliance, et al. (collectively, the Alliance), holding that the Alliance failed to show the violation of a duty clearly established by law.In the mandamus petitions, the Alliance alleged that Ramsey County, Olmsted County, and other entities violated their statutory obligations for appointing members to absentee ballot board during the 2020 general election. Specifically, Alliance argued that the statutory requirements for election judges also apply to deputy county auditors. The district court dismissed the petitions, and the court of appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the district court properly dismissed the Alliance's mandamus petitions. View "Minnesota Voters Alliance v. County of Ramsey" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court held that certain congressional districts were unconstitutional for purposes of the 2022 primary and general elections, enjoined their use in these elections, and adopted the congressional district boundaries as set forth in Appendices A and B to this order.Two sets of plaintiffs initiated actions in, respectively, Carver County District Court and Ramsey District Court alleging that the current congressional and legislative election districts were unconstitutionally malapportioned in light of the 2020 census. The Chief Justice appointed a panel to hear and decided the consolidated action and any other challenges to the congressional and legislative districts. The Supreme Court held that the existing congressional districts were unconstitutional and adopted the congressional district boundaries as set out in Appendices A and B to this order. View "Wattson v. Simon" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the district court granting Respondents' petition to strike a revised question from the ballot, holding that the district court erred.Respondents filed a petition to correct the language the Minneapolis City Council had approved for a question that was on the ballot for the 2021 city election. The district court granted the petition, and the City Council approved revised ballot language that same day. Respondents then (1) moved to amend the judgment and injunction to encompass the revised ballot language, and (2) filed a petition under Minn. Stat. 204B.44 asking the district court to strike the revised question from the ballot. The district court granted the motion and the petition, concluding that the revised ballot language was misleading. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the current ballot language met the standard set forth in Breza v. Kiffmeyer, 723 N.W.2d 633 (Minn. 2006). View "Samuels v. City of Minneapolis" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the district court dismissing Plaintiff's election contest filed under Minn. Stat. 209.021, holding that there was no error in the proceedings below.Specifically, the Supreme Court held (1) Plaintiff was not prejudiced by the delay in providing notice of the election contest to the Chief Justice; (2) Plaintiff's claim asserting a violation of her civil rights under the Voting Rights Act, 52 U.S.C. 10101, was not properly asserted on appeal; and (3) the district court did not err in dismissing Plaintiff's election contest for failure to state a legally sufficient claim upon which relief could be granted. View "Bergstrom v. McEwen" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court dismissed the petition filed by Petitioners asking the Supreme Court to temporarily restrain the State Canvassing Board from certifying the results of the November 3, 2020 general election held in Minnesota and to require a full recount of the federal and state offices on the ballot, holding that the petition must be dismissed.Petitioners asserted three claims in their petition. Counts I and II rested on challenges to consent decrees entered by the district court that suspended the witness requirement for absentee and mail ballots for the 2020 general election. Count III challenged the processes used in some counties for conducting the post-election review. The Supreme Court dismissed the petition, holding (1) Counts I and II were barred by laches; and (2) because Petitioners did not file proof that the petition was served in compliance with Minn. Stat. 204B.44, Count III must be dismissed. View "Kistner v. Simon" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed in part and reversed in part the judgment of the district court temporarily enjoining the Secretary of State from taking steps to enforce or require compliance with voter-assistance and ballot-collection limits, holding that the district court correctly found that a likelihood of success on the merits was shown on the claim that the voter-assistance limit in Minn. Stat. 204C.15, subd. 1, for ballot marking, was preempted but otherwise erred.At issue was the limits in Minnesota Statutes on the number of voters that an individual may assist in marking a ballot and the number of completed absentee ballots the an individual may collect and deliver. In a complaint, two Democratic committees brought a number of challenges to the limits. The district court concluded that the Democratic committees were likely to succeed on the merits of the claims and had demonstrated that a temporary injunction was warranted. The Supreme Court affirmed the district court's decision on the preemption claim as to the limit on the number of voters that may be assisted in marking a ballot but otherwise reversed, holding that the district court abused its discretion in finding that a likelihood of success on the merits was shown on Plaintiffs' remaining claims. View "DSCC v. Simon" on Justia Law