State of Minnesota

Minnesota Signature Verification Challenge

Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State

Lawsuit filed on behalf of Minnesota Voters Alliance — an organization “fighting for election integrity” — and three voters against the office of the Minnesota secretary of state challenging the administrative rule outlining the duties of ballot board members who review absentee ballots. In Minnesota, ballot boards are established by county auditors and their members examine absentee ballots to determine whether or not they should be accepted or rejected. The plaintiffs argue that the rule at issue — which establishes a set of reasons why a ballot board member may not reject an absentee ballot — violates Minnesota’s election code.  The plaintiffs argue that “there is no provision in [Minnesota’s election laws] authorizing rules which restrict the reasons for which a ballot board member may decide that a voter did not sign the signature envelope of an absentee ballot” and claim that the rule violates Minnesota law. The plaintiffs request that the court declare the rule invalid. 

The state’s appellate court denied the plaintiffs’ requested relief in August 2022. In May 2023, the Minnesota Supreme Court mostly affirmed the appellate court’s decision denying the plaintiffs’ relief, however it determined that one rule regarding signature matching partially conflicted with Minnesota law. Going forward, signature matching must be performed only by election judges (and not by ballot board members unless they also serve as election judges).

Case Documents (Court of appeals)

Case Documents (MN Supreme Court)

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