Olmsted County Wins Legal Battle Over Counting Absentee Ballots
St. Paul, MN (KROC-AM News) - The Minnesota Supreme Court has sided with Olmsted and Ramsey Counties in a legal fight over who should have counted the absentee ballots cast in the 2020 election.
The Minnesota Voters Alliance went to court prior to the election challenge the appointment of county staff to serve on the absentee ballot boards. According to the ruling issued by the Supreme Court today, the Voters Alliance argued the legal requirements for election judges also applied to deputy county auditors serving on absentee ballot boards. State election laws mandate that "election judges must be appointed from a list of candidates supplied by major political parties and must disclose their personal political affiliation."
In its decision, the Supreme Court found the plain language of the state’s election laws "distinguishes between deputy county auditors and election judges" and "specifically applies statutory restrictions to election judges," but does not apply "those same statutory restrictions to deputy county auditors."
The ruling, which affirms a previous decision by the State Court of Appeals, holds that the Voters Alliance "has not shown a violation of the duty clearly established by law" and that the District Court judge who originally heard the case properly dismissed the organization's request for an order requiring Olmsted and Ramsey Counties to change the makeup of their absentee ballot boards.