State of Minnesota

Minnesota Voter Roll Access Challenge

Public Interest Legal Foundation v. Simon

Lawsuit filed by the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) against Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon (D) challenging the state’s exemption from the National Voter Registration Act (NVRA). The NVRA’s Public Disclosure Provision requires states to allow public inspection of voter list maintenance records for at least two years. However, Section 4 of the NVRA notes that states which did not have a voter registration requirement or allowed all voters to register at a polling place on Election Day prior to August 1, 1994 were exempt from the law. Minnesota is one of six states with such an exemption. Minnesota law allows county auditors to provide a public information list — which includes the name, address, year of birth and voting history of each registered voter in the county — exclusively to voters registered in Minnesota. 

On Jan. 24, 2024, PILF requested a copy of the state’s registered voter list from the secretary of state’s office. On March 1, the secretary’s office denied PILF’s request because the organization is not a Minnesota registered voter, explaining that the NVRA does not apply to the state. 

PILF claims that this exemption to the Public Disclosure Provision departs from the “principle of equal state sovereignty” by giving Minnesota and the additional five states with exemptions different treatment than other states. PILF asks the court to invalidate the state’s exemption,  declare that the NVRA’s Public Disclosure provision supersedes Minnesota law and require the state provide the public information list to any member of the public. 

STATUS: PILF filed this complaint on April 30, 2024. The Minnesota secretary of state has not responded yet.

Case Documents

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