Federal judge shoots down election lawsuit

■ Rep. Sondra Erickson signed on as a plaintiff to the lawsuit

A lawsuit, challenging Minnesota’s voting system, filed in part by Rep. Sondra Erickson (R-Princeton) was shot down Friday, Aug. 17 in U.S. Federal Court.

The case, filed by the Minnesota Voters Alliance, Erickson, the Minnesota Freedom Council and others, was dismissed by U.S. District Court Judge Donovan Frank.

Minnesota Secretary of State Mark Ritchie, a defendant in the lawsuit, said in a prepared statement: “Today Judge Frank affirmed the constitutionality of same-day voter registration.”

The lawsuit, a copy of which is attached to the online version of this story at www.unioneagle.com, attacked Minnesota’s voting system and its process of allowing election-day registration. Specifically, votes of special needs voters were challenged as ineligible because they didn’t conform to a federal law requiring all voters to be certified as eligible voters prior to their ballots being counted.

“Because the Court finds that Plaintiffs have failed to assert a valid claim against any Defendant and have failed to exhaust state law remedies, the Amended Complaint must be dismissed in its entirety,” Judge Frank wrote in his decision.

“Judge Frank’s decision ensures that these voters, many who will cast votes for the first time, will have their voices heard on Election Day,” Ritchie said.

Minnesota’s same-day voter registration serves as a model for our nation and, in part, accounts for our consistent top ranking in voter participation among all states, Ritchie said.

This year alone, the Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State projects 500,000 eligible voters will use same-day voter registration at the General Election on November 6, he said.

This settles the first of two recent challenges to same-day voter registration. The other is the proposed constitutional amendment on elections which, if passed, would eliminate same-day voter registration as we know it. It is now up to the voters to decide the fate of same-day voter registration for Minnesota in November.

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