Minnesota Rice County Voting Machines Challenge
Benda for Common-sense v. Anderson
Lawsuit filed by Benda for Common-sense (a nonprofit organization founded by Matt Benda, an attorney who was formerly a Republican candidate for Congress) and a Minnesota voter against the director of property and tax elections in Rice County, Minnesota challenging the county’s use of an “Electronic Voting System.” The plaintiffs allege that they requested information regarding “any documentation, emails or letters related to any audit, certification, incident logs, inspections, reports, and upgrade logs of Rice County’s election computer network and all election equipment” and information regarding “all public records including, but not limited to those that pertain to the selection, authorization, purchase, and maintenance of electronic poll books, scanning and tabulation machines, modems, hotspots and routers.” The plaintiffs claim that the defendant has not “fully or completely responded” to the first request and “briefly, vaguely, and incompletely” responded to the second request. The plaintiffs argue that they requested a full “cast vote record” but this request was “not fully or completely responded to” and they contend that the defendant is violating Minnesota law by failing “to produce the data” the plaintiffs requested. The plaintiffs demand that the defendant be enjoined from ”using improper procedures in response to data requests” and ask the court to order the defendant to comply. Lastly, the plaintiffs ask that Rice County be prohibited “from using any Electronic Voting System that has hardware, software, or features that are not properly approved, certified or secure” and demand that the defendant be prohibited from “destroying any electronic or paper data subject to the[ir] requests.”
After filing their complaint, the plaintiffs expanded their requests beyond those contained in their initial petition for information and data regarding the county’s electronic voting systems to include a request for a prohibition on the use of “modems” (which transmit election results to the Minnesota secretary of state) in Rice County electronic voting systems. Specifically, they ask the court to stop Rice County from using “any modem function” in the “Electronic Voting Systems” and to require the defendant to submit a “certification from the manufacturer of the Rice County Electronic Voting Systems that the modem function on said machines has been disabled or otherwise made inoperable.” On Jan. 17, 2023, the court dismissed the case.