Lawsuit filed against Olmsted County for absentee ballot review board appointment practices

The MVA says the county is using its employees to serve in these positions, and it's a conflict of interests when election judges are rejecting ballots.

Posted: Jul 31, 2020 6:56 PM

OLMSTED COUNTY, Minn. - The Minnesota Voters Alliance, the Republican Party of Minnesota, State Representative Duane Quam, and several election judges filed a petition for the Olmsted County District Court to order the County of Olmsted to change how it appoints members to the absentee ballot review board for the upcoming November elections.

The MVA believes the county is violating State statute 203B.121. In particular, the party balance requirement: "No more than half of the election judges in a precinct may be members of the same major political party unless the election board consists of an odd number of election judges, in which case the number of election judges who are members of the same major political party may be one more than half the number of election judges in that precinct."

The MVA says the county is using its employees to serve in these positions, and it's a conflict of interests when election judges are rejecting ballots.

"Minnesotans are good people, and they're very trusting people. From the people we've talked to, people don't even realize that the people counting all these ballots, the mail in ballots coming in, are people the legislature said could not accept and reject absentee ballots," Minnesota Voters Alliance executive director Andrew Cilek tells KIMT.

The MVA's website says it is "A nonpartisan organization focusing primarily on election integrity, research, voter education and advocacy. We seek to increase voter participation in the election process and raise public awareness of important issues related to elections."

The Minnesota Voters Alliance is filing similar lawsuits against the City of Minneapolis, the City of Duluth, and Ramsey County. The Minnesota Supreme Court ordered to consolidate these petitions, so the matter will be handled with the Ramsey County District Court Judge.

"We need to find ways to work together to have elections full of integrity and the Olmsted County Board and these staff members are law violators and they need to stop," says Erick Kaardal of Mohrman, Kaardal & Erickson, P.A. , the attorney representing the MVA. "The Olmsted County Board should be ashamed of itself not to be able to follow fairly simple directions from the state legislature in respect to how the absentee ballot boards are to be appointed."

The Olmsted County Attorney's Office made the following statement to KIMT: "“We are aware that a lawsuit has been filed but have not yet been served with the paperwork. We cannot provide any further comment at this time.”

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

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Reported Deaths: 1656
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin18009819
Ramsey6944261
Dakota3991103
Anoka3365113
Stearns283120
Washington191743
Nobles17466
Olmsted162923
Scott139014
Mower10812
Rice9998
Blue Earth8525
Wright8135
Carver7792
Clay74540
Kandiyohi6761
Sherburne6497
St. Louis43619
Todd4202
Lyon4163
Freeborn3541
Steele3301
Nicollet31213
Benton3063
Watonwan2980
Winona24716
Crow Wing21313
Martin2045
Le Sueur2011
Beltrami1930
Chisago1791
Goodhue1768
Otter Tail1763
Cottonwood1710
Becker1431
Pipestone1439
Unassigned14040
McLeod1380
Itasca13212
Polk1313
Douglas1300
Waseca1280
Pine1270
Carlton1250
Dodge1230
Murray1221
Isanti1100
Chippewa981
Brown852
Faribault830
Meeker832
Morrison831
Wabasha810
Sibley792
Koochiching743
Rock740
Pennington721
Jackson700
Mille Lacs653
Fillmore610
Renville595
Cass582
Lincoln540
Swift521
Grant491
Yellow Medicine490
Roseau460
Pope430
Houston390
Norman340
Redwood300
Kanabec291
Hubbard280
Marshall280
Wilkin283
Aitkin270
Mahnomen231
Wadena230
Big Stone220
Red Lake200
Lake180
Clearwater150
Stevens150
Traverse100
Lac qui Parle60
Kittson40
Cook20
Lake of the Woods10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

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Confirmed Cases: 45774

Reported Deaths: 883
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk9723203
Woodbury365151
Black Hawk300362
Linn210887
Johnson193315
Dallas178935
Buena Vista178512
Scott159312
Dubuque153729
Marshall138924
Pottawattamie121723
Story110914
Wapello84932
Muscatine82648
Webster7255
Crawford7193
Sioux5952
Cerro Gordo57617
Tama53729
Warren5281
Jasper45524
Plymouth4438
Wright4431
Louisa37914
Dickinson3754
Clinton3173
Washington28710
Hamilton2411
Boone2282
Franklin2205
Bremer1877
Clarke1863
Carroll1811
Emmet1791
Clay1711
Hardin1650
Shelby1611
Marion1530
Allamakee1514
Poweshiek1468
Benton1431
Jackson1411
Des Moines1392
Mahaska13617
Floyd1292
Guthrie1265
Jones1242
Cedar1201
Hancock1172
Butler1142
Henry1133
Pocahontas1131
Buchanan1111
Lyon1020
Madison1022
Clayton983
Cherokee971
Harrison970
Lee953
Taylor930
Humboldt921
Delaware901
Monona900
Iowa891
Winneshiek851
Calhoun822
Mills820
Fayette810
Sac810
Palo Alto790
Kossuth780
Jefferson770
Osceola770
Mitchell760
Page760
Winnebago760
Grundy741
Union701
Monroe677
Worth610
Chickasaw510
Cass481
Davis481
Howard480
Lucas454
Montgomery433
Appanoose423
Greene380
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Keokuk301
Ida290
Audubon281
Decatur220
Adair210
Ringgold211
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Unassigned80
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