June 22, 2018 06:23 PM
A self-described election watchdog group has filed suit, claiming that in order to assess the true amount of ineligible voting in Minnesota, they need more voting information than the secretary of state is willing to give.
The same group -- Minnesota Voters Alliance -- won a U.S. Supreme Court case earlier this month. That case dealt with whether voters should be allowed to wear political apparel at the polls, while the new case deals with voters themselves.
"What we want is the information the secretary of state has about ineligible people voting," attorney Erick Kaardal said Friday afternoon after making oral arguments in Ramsey County District Court.
The group claims there is evidence to suggest ineligible voting is a widespread problem in Minnesota, and they want the data to prove it.
"Anyone who's lived in Minnesota for a long time knows that these elections can be close," Kaardal said. "They can be by one vote, they can be by two votes. They can be by 312 votes in a statewide election."
The group isn't without opposition. Max Hailperin of Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota disputes their evidence.
"I believe that they are alarmist and distorting in the way they're presenting the facts," he said, "and I believe that they have stretched the law to an unrecognizable extent."
He's not alone.
"The claim that in fact there is fraud, or significant voter fraud, affecting the outcome of elections, that's just not true," said Hamline University Professor of Political Science David Schultz, who has studied voter fraud and teaches a course on election law.
"We know from the best studies nationwide the instances of voter fraud are so minuscule, you have a better chance of winning Powerball than showing that voter fraud has affected the outcome of an election," Schultz said.
Asked if he disagreed with those studies, Kaardal replied, "That's called fake news, right?"
After oral arguments Friday, Judge Jennifer Frisch said she'd take the matter under advisement.
The Secretary of State's Office declined comment, citing ongoing litigation.
Updated: June 22, 2018 06:23 PM
Created: June 22, 2018 05:35 PM
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