MINNEAPOLIS (CN) - Two organizations sued Minnesota in Federal Court, claiming the state's tolerance of election-day voter registration is unconstitutional.
The Minnesota Voters Alliance and the Minnesota Freedom Council are the lead plaintiffs, along with five people.
Both groups describe themselves as nonpartisan in their 28-page complaint.
The Voters Alliance on its home web page denounces the League of Women Voters for conducting "public propaganda sessions," and the Freedom Council on its website denounces the separation of church and state, and suggests that U.S. citizens be obligated to take an oath to defend the Constitution.
The groups claim that election day voter registration undermines and dilutes the votes of people who registered before election day. They say this violates "constitutional protections of due process, equal protection, and association".
The complaint states: "In close elections, the mix of unconstitutional votes with constitutional votes undermines the integrity or validity of the election. The effect is not slight considering the number of close elections Minnesota has experienced. The present system does not ensure that the winner of the election contest is the choice of the majority or even a strong plurality of constitutional voters."
The Minnesota Voters Alliance is a partner in the "We Want Voter ID Coalition." The Freedom Council also wants voters required to show photo ID.
They claim that the state and counties fail to confirm the eligibility of voters who register on election day, waving the constitutional requirements for hundreds of thousands of voters.
"The defendants, on the election days in November 2008 and 2010, waived the qualifications found under Article VII, section 1 of the Minnesota Constitution for election day registrants by not confirming that each person is entitled to vote," the complaint states. "The state directs the counties to confirm the entitlement of each election day registrant after the election. In 2008 and 2010, thousands of persons were unconfirmed as entitled to vote but their votes were counted on those election days. Thus, persons entitled to vote had their ballots counted with persons not entitled to vote violating Minn. Const. art. VII, section 1 and the constitutional protections of due process, equal protection, and association (including all unenumerated rights). State laws are also implicated as constitutionally infirm. The defendants will waive the requirements of Article VII, section 1 again on election day in November 2012. The implications are profound."
Minnesota does not verify the eligibility of voters who register on election day until after their ballot has been accepted and counted.
The complaint states: "Under the present system, with election day results counting non-entitled persons' ballots with and mixed with entitled voters' ballots, the state cannot ensure that the winner of each election is the choice of the majority or even a strong plurality of entitled voters."
Some of the individual plaintiffs, who ran for office in Minnesota and lost by narrow margins, claim the state undermined the elections by not confirming voter eligibility.
"Minnesota has a history of close elections," the complaint states. "In the 1916 election, the Minnesota popular vote in a presidential race had Charles Evans Hughes defeating Woodrow Wilson by 392 votes. In 1962, Karl F. Rovaag defeated Elmer L. Anderson for Governor of Minnesota by 91 votes."
Plaintiff Jodi Lyn Nelson, who ran for a school board seat and lost by 1 vote, claims the county failed to confirm several registered voters as eligible.