September 8, 2016

Minnesota DFL Files Legal Challenge to Donald Trump Being Placed on Minnesota Ballot

Clear Republican errors should lead Trump to being removed

St. Paul—Late today the Minnesota Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) Party filed a legal challenge petitioning the Minnesota Supreme Court to remove Donald Trump and Mike Pence from the Minnesota ballot.

“It is apparent that clear errors occurred in the Republican process of selecting alternative electors for getting Donald Trump on the Minnesota ballot,” said DFL Chair Ken Martin. “It is incumbent upon political parties to follow the rules binding our elections and in this instance it does not appear that the Minnesota Republican Party did so.”

In order to get their presidential nominees on the ballot the DFL and Republican parties are required to provide the Secretary of State with three sets of names: the party’s candidates for president and vice-president; the ten people nominated as presidential electors; and the ten people nominated as alternate presidential electors.
The Minnesota GOP did not elect to elect alternate presidential electors at the state convention earlier this year. After being notified that they had failed to provide the names of alternative electors by the Secretary of State’s office, Republicans decided to appoint alternate electors in a closed-door meeting rather than electing them. This is violation of state law.
A copy of the petition is here.

September 9, 2016

Republican Party of Minnesota Blasts Democrats For Frivolous Lawsuit

(Minneapolis, Minn.,) – Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Keith Downey blasted Democrat Chairman Ken Martin and the Democrat Party for their frivolous petition to remove Donald Trump and Mike Pence from the ballot as baseless and politically corrupt.

On August 24th, five days before the August 29th filing deadline, the Republican Party of Minnesota completed its requirements, in compliance with state law and party rules, of submitting our Republican nominees for President and Vice President along with nominees for Elector and Alternate Elector.  The ballot filing was certified by the Secretary of State and properly placed on the ballot. 

“Donald Trump got on our ballot fair and square, and it is outrageous that the Democrat Party would actually try to rig the election this way,” said Downey, “It sure smells bad when the Democrat Party petitions the Democrat Secretary of State to remove the Republican candidate from the presidential ballot.  With Mr. Trump gaining strength every day and Hillary Clinton tanking in the polls, it appears Minnesota Democrats are very worried.  In the end the Clinton machine’s blatant and frivolous attempt to disenfranchise so many Minnesota voters will backfire – it’s everything that people see wrong with politics.”


September 12, 2016

Statement from DFL Chairman Ken Martin on Minnesota Supreme Court Ruling

We are disappointed with the result today but respect the Supreme Court’s decision. We believe that we are on strong legal ground and that if this case were heard we would prevail upon the merits, but certainly understand the tight timeline issues addressed by the Court.

This lawsuit was about the rule of law.  Although the Republican Party and its standard bearer, Donald Trump, frequently talk about the rule of law, they consistently apply a double standard – making clear that everyone else should follow the rules but not them.

Despite very clear statutory guidance and frequent communication from the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office, the Republicans failed to properly follow the law which required them to elect both electors and alternate electors. It should not have been a surprise to either Donald Trump’s campaign nor the Minnesota Republican Party the steps they needed to take to ensure ballot access. If they can’t competently follow the rules and steps to properly get on the ballot, how does anyone expect them to run the country.

The remedy under the law is not ideal.  However, it was the only relief we could seek to hold the Republican Party and Donald Trump accountable for their failure to follow the clear requirements for accessing the ballot. The Minnesota DFL, our elected officials, and candidates have always stood for expanding access to the ballot box and we will continue to do so.

To emphasize, this lawsuit was not so much about the Presidential contest or the other races in Minnesota.  This lawsuit was about holding candidates accountable to follow the laws. Whether it is residency requirements or getting a candidate’s name on the ballot, laws matter.

With 57 days left until this critical election the Minnesota DFL will continue to work hard to support its candidates and focus on the issues important to Minnesotans.

September 12, 2016

Republican Party of Minnesota issues statement regarding the Supreme Court Decision

(Minneapolis, Minn.) – Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Keith Downey issued the following statement in response to the Minnesota Supreme Court’s decision denying the Democrat Party’s attempt to remove Donald Trump and Mike Pence from the ballot in Minnesota.

“We are pleased the Court struck down this blatant Democrat attempt to rig the Minnesota election for Hillary Clinton and disenfranchise Minnesota voters.  Our legally filed ballot of Donald Trump and Mike Pence and our electors and alternate electors were properly certified by the Secretary of State. Beyond a court ruling, however, the real solution is to get out and vote for Donald Trump and your Republican legislators – that is the only way we’ll ever close this sad chapter of Democrat corruption.”

Rick Morgan, counsel for the Republican Party of Minnesota, stated, “We are pleased the Minnesota Supreme Court made the right decision.  On Friday, we filed a brief pointing out how the DFL’s petition was factually inaccurate and contrary to applicable law.  Granting the petition would have marked a significant departure from bedrock election law  going back more than a century—that in this country the voters have the right to choose their elected representatives and the courts must use extreme caution not to tread on that right.  The Minnesota Supreme Court recognized and upheld that right.”