Donald Trump will be on Minnesota’s ballot this November, despite a DFL Party legal maneuver to try to keep him off.
In a six-page decision issued Monday afternoon, the state Supreme Court dismissed a petition filed last week in which DFL leaders argued that the Republican presidential nominee and his running mate, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, should not be listed on the ballot because Republicans had not properly selected alternate electors.
The court said the DFL waited too long to lodge its objections to what it characterized as a technical error.
The DFL had argued that Secretary of State Steve Simon should not have accepted the GOP’s “certificate of nomination” for Trump and Pence because Republicans had missed one required step at their party’s convention last spring — selecting 10 alternate electors for the presidential race. GOP leaders selected the electors in August, after discovering the problem, but state law requires that the selection be made at political parties’ conventions.
DFL leaders said they waited until Sept. 8 to file their petition because they needed time to investigate the problem after it was discovered in late August — about two weeks before the start of early voting.
The court, however, said the timeline was too tight to ensure that voters would get a fair election, writing that “the petitioner that seeks a change in a candidacy designation that the Secretary of State has already certified cannot lose sight of the fact that every day of delay increases the potential prejudicial impact on election processes and the electorate’s right to vote.”
With early voting set to begin Sept. 23, the court noted that at least 1 million ballots had already been printed at the time of the ruling.
In a statement issued Monday afternoon, state DFL Chairman Ken Martin said his party was disappointed with the ruling and remains convinced that filing the petition was the proper course of action to remedy another party’s failure to follow the rules.
“This lawsuit was about the rule of law,” he said. “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.”
Republican Party of Minnesota Chairman Keith Downey issued his own statement, cheering the court’s decision in what he called a “sad chapter of Democrat corruption.”
“We are pleased the Court struck down this blatant Democrat attempt to rig the Minnesota election for Hillary Clinton and disenfranchise Minnesota voters,” he said. “Our legally filed ballot of Donald Trump and Mike Pence and our electors and alternate electors were properly certified by the Secretary of State.”