Minnesota DFL seeks Trump’s ballot removal

Updated at 2:07 p.m. with comment from the state Republican Party chairman.

Minnesota’s DFL Party moved Thursday to have Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump removed from the November ballot, arguing the state GOP failed to abide by candidate filing laws.

State Democratic Party Chairman Ken Martin filed a petition with the Minnesota Supreme Court to strike Trump and running mate Mike Pence. The petition contends Trump’s candidate filing was flawed because the Republican Party failed to properly choose the people who would cast Electoral College votes for their candidate if he wins Minnesota.

A Trump campaign spokesman had no immediate comment. Republican Party Chairman Keith Downey criticized the move as frivolous and says it would disenfranchise voters.

Major-party presidential candidates had until Aug. 29 to gain access to Minnesota’s ballot. Paperwork for both Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton was filed with room to spare. Seven minor-party candidates also qualified for the ballot after submitting at least 2,000 signatures each.

For Trump and Clinton, their parties had to submit the names of 10 electors and 10 alternates, certifying that they were chosen at the spring state party conventions. In the case of Trump, the Republican Party only selected the 10 electors at its May convention and waited until late August to choose the alternates.

“The Secretary of State accepted the certification and agreed to list Trump and Pence on the ballot despite the fact that Downey’s certification was untrue; the Republican Party’s alternate presidential electors were not nominated by the State Republican Party’s delegate convention called and held under the supervision of the State Republican Party Central Committee as required by Minn. Stat. § 208.03,” the DFL petition reads.

The petition was first reported by blogger Michael Brodkorb, a former deputy Republican Party chairman.

The Supreme Court hasn’t scheduled a hearing in the case but usually moves swiftly to resolve election-related litigation. There is pressure to get it resolved soon: Minnesota’s absentee voting period starts Sept. 23.

  • Amy La

    So now the Republicans can use this stunt to prove that Democrats are trying to rig the elections. This is going to hurt Democrats and not just in Minnesota.

    • Kevin Chavis

      Perhaps Republican could follow the laws of this state and country instead of pretending they are above them? Also, they are breaking their own constitution, how can we trust them in upholding THE Constitution?

      • Amy La

        I don’t trust the Republicans. I am voting Democratic. My point is that this will help the Republicans who we are trying to defeat. If the DFL succeeds they will be playing right into the hands of the Republicans and it will get national news. It reminds me of Paul Wellstone’s funeral where a sincere and heartfelt speech by Rick Kahn ended up costing the Democrats Wellstone’s senate seat. His good intentions back-fired as will this.

    • Darren Felton

      I agree, Minnesota is already strongly a Blue state, we don’t need to remove trump from the ballot here. Yes he may get a portion of the electoral vote which adds to the national tally but the damage from that is not nearly as significant as the damage this move would do to the Democratic Party’s appearance should Trump actually be omitted from the November ballot.

    • Ralphy

      It was Michael Brodkorb, a Republican, who first blew the whistle.
      It’s not the Democrats fault that the Republican Party is so disorganized they can’t follow the procedural steps required to lawfully place a candidate on the ballot. Requiring candidates to follow the law is not the rigging an election. Insisting your candidate is above the law is another matter.

      • Amy La

        No it’s not the Democrats fault that the Republican are disorganized. It’s the Democrats fault that they are now helping Republicans by pursuing this. Hmmm, I wonder why a Republican blew the whistle? Do you really think this won’t get spinned to help Republicans? Do we want to win this election or don’t we?

        • Ralphy

          I think the embarrassment of their public display of being so disorganized they can’t properly get their candidate to the Secretary of State will encourage the GOP to try to keep this as quiet as possible. To me, this makes the Republicans look amateurish and not up to the task of leadership.
          As to why Brodkorb blew the whistle – he has posted a number of reasons – from stopping Trump to following the rules.

          • NoCountryForOldCountryBuffet

            >To me, this makes the Republicans look amateurish and not up to the task of leadership.

            Yeah, but you’re a partisan. To a normal person, it looks like the DFL is trying to play lawyer’s games to disenfranchise people on other side of the political spectrum.

            Considering that Hillary will win Minnesota regardless of whether Trump is on the ballot, this is a profoundly stupid move by the DFL.

          • Ralphy

            Not sure where you pulled the partisan label from. Those that know me would likely describe me as a cross between a Paul Wellstone progressive and an Arne Carlson pragmatist.
            But OK – for today I’m a partisan.

          • NoCountryForOldCountryBuffet

            If you honestly cannot see why this is counterproductive for the DFL, then yes, you are a partisan.

          • The Professor

            Perhaps it was a RINO who caused the FUBAR.

          • NoCountryForOldCountryBuffet

            It doesn’t matter who is at fault for the lack of compliance. It’s a tactically stupid lawsuit for the DFL because they have nothing to gain and will just fire up Trump voters.

          • Carin Ekre Anderson

            You can’t blame them for wanting to discredit an opponent, esp.one they believe to be , at best, a very erratic and unpredictable possible president. Showing his folly in a legal manner isn’t wrong….disenfranchisement may be a consequence, but only to those who don’t really examine issues with an open mind

          • DavyT

            Carin, your last sentence describes every Trump supporter to a T.

          • NoCountryForOldCountryBuffet

            Yes, you can blame them for trying to disenfranchise voters who don’t share their politic views. Especially when the Democratic Secretary of State also erred by signing-off on the alternates.

          • Amy La

            Disorganization vs disenfranchisement. I wonder which one the public, the undecided voting public, will care about. The Republicans will milk this for all they can get. And unfortunately it’s not going to make any difference in Minnesota but it may hurt Clinton in other more precarious states.

          • David P.

            The Republicans leveraging their own screw-up to gain an advantage over Hillary Clinton in other states – that is some Black-Belt ju-jitsu!

          • Amy La

            No black-belt required. Just a really white-belt move on the part of the DFL. News of disenfranchisement doesn’t stop at state lines. If the DFL succeeds the Republican will be dancing with glee. And now I will let this go except to say that I’m utterly flabbergasted and angry that the DFL did not consider the consequences of such a move. If it’s not too late I hope they end this dangerous nonsense.

          • Carin Ekre Anderson

            Repubs have rabid supporters though,not famous for investigating or critical thinking. right or wrong doesn’t matter.

  • NoCountryForOldCountryBuffet

    Stay classy, DFL.

  • Agricultural Science

    A typical liberal tactic to try to prevent groups opposed to their views from voting. They wouldn’t need tricks like this if they had a competent, honest candidate.

    • Brian Simon

      I would hate to think I’d be allowed to vote for a candidate who is illegally on the ballot.

    • DavyT

      You are too funny. Yes, by all means, it is the Democratic party with the history of disenfranchising voters. Better bone up on your political history Mr. Science.

    • David P.

      Lol!
      Republicans are actively engaged in voter suppression in more than a dozen states, strategically targeting communities of color and college students.
      They have tried in Minnesota, with their very ill advised voter ID initiative and various voter registration barricades.

  • Justin McKinney

    I am generally staunchly liberal, but this move is boneheaded on the part of the DFL. They’re playing into the hands of the GOP with this approach. Just leave it be, use it to show that the Republicans don’t know how to follow the rules, but say that you’re confident enough in your own candidate that it doesn’t matter if the other guy is on the ballot or not, he’s going to lose, by a lot. This could have been handled much more appropriately by Mr. Martin.

  • Brian Simon

    First rule: don’t be a jerk. DFL is breaking that rule. Having said that, the GOP likes to think of themselves as the law abiding party…

  • Jan

    I can guarantee you, if Trump is not on the MN ballot – there will be hell to pay. A state cannot take the Presidential nominee off the ballot because they don’t like him. He is the peoples choice and he better be on every states ballot.

    • David P.

      I don’t think his being in the ballot is being contested by the Secretary of State or contingent on liking him or not.

      The Republican Party failed to follow the rules and regulations of their own party and the Minnesota law in having a candidate placed on the ballet.

      This was called out by Michael Brodkorb a few weeks ago. Mr Brodkorb is a former Deputy Chair of the Republican Party, and is still very active in the party.

      It’s OK to be upset with this, but it’s important to understand who is to blame.