The Minnesota Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a Republican lawsuit to stop certification of Minnesota’s Nov. 3 election results and order a full recount, the latest in a long line of failed legal attempts around the country to challenge the outcome of the 2020 vote.
In a five-page order rejecting the case, Chief Justice Lorie Skjerven Gildea cited the late filing of the petition — just hours before the state canvassing board met to certify the election’s results on Nov. 24 — and errors in the manner in which the case was brought.
Unsuccessful GOP congressional candidate Tyler Kistner, numerous other Minnesota Republicans who lost their elections and members of a breakaway GOP state House caucus were behind the petition. Their challenge took aim at a consent decree agreed to earlier this year by Secretary of State Steve Simon that suspended witness requirements for absentee and mail ballots. The Republican petitioners also challenged the process used in some counties for conducting their postelection reviews.
The petitioners argued that they were not unreasonable to wait until hours before the canvassing board meeting because they filed their challenge just days after the final postelection review in Minnesota. But Gildea pointed out that two of their key arguments, including the witness requirement suspension, centered on events that took place months before early voting began on Sept. 18.
The witness requirement suspension also survived a state appellate court challenge.
Gildea wrote that a proposed recount of the election results “would cast an unacceptable degree of uncertainty over the election, potentially leaving Minnesotans without adequate elected representation.”
“The proposed full recount, regardless of the vote difference between candidates … would impose unacceptable burdens on voters and election officials alike,” Gildea wrote.
In dismissing the petition, Gildea pointed out that while one allegation focused on how county officials conducted postelection audits, the petitioners failed to serve any such officials with a copy of their petition as required.
The GOP petition pointed to vote count anomalies and suggestions that voting machines could have been tampered with but did not provide evidence of tampering. The petitioners argued that “our voting system has crashed in many areas of the state.”
Simon has repeatedly asserted that his office has found no evidence of voter fraud or misconduct. This week, Simon bashed suggestions that fraud swung the outcome of the election as “foolish and irresponsible.”
State Sen. Mary Kiffmeyer, a Big Lake Republican who chairs the Senate’s elections committee, plans to examine the conduct of the election’s administration in a hearing next week.
To date, Simon said, there is “no credible evidence” that votes were manipulated or otherwise compromised anywhere in Minnesota during the 2020 general election.
Stephen Montemayor • 612-673-1755