Minnesota COVID-19 Election Relief*
LaRose v. Simon
Sponsored by the National Redistricting Foundation, and on behalf of the Minnesota Alliance for Retired Americans Educational Fund and individual voters, we challenged two Minnesota laws that restrict voting by mail. The first is Minnesota’s requirement that each absentee ballot be witnessed by another registered voter or notary, which is almost impossible for those living alone and social distancing due to coronavirus to achieve. The second challenged law is Minnesota’s requirement that absentee ballots be received by 8:00 PM on Election Day.
Minnesota Voter Assistance/Ballot Collection*
DSCC v. Simon
Challenging a Minnesota law that makes it a crime to help too many people vote. Regardless of the language barriers or disabilities faced by a voter being assisted, Minnesota limits the number of voters an individual may help (1) complete their in-person or absentee ballot and (2) submit their absentee ballots. Specifically, a person may help no more than three voters mark their ballots. Similarly, a person may help no more than three voters return their absentee ballots. These laws especially impact Minnesota’s sizable language minority communities, including Hmong and Somali Americans, as well as Minnesotans with disabilities. The penalty for helping too many Minnesotans vote is steep: anyone who helps a single additional person could face felony charges. By criminalizing efforts to assist voters in completing and submitting ballots, the Voter Assistance Bans inhibit constitutionally protected political activity and hinder the ability of Minnesotans to participate in the political process.
Minnesota Ballot Order
Pavek v. Simon
Federal court challenge to Minnesota’s ballot order rules, which mandate that major partisan candidates are listed in reverse order of their average vote in the last election. Expert analysis shows that the first listed candidate on the ballot receives a certain percentage of additional votes solely due to their ballot position. We contend that the statute unduly burdens the right to vote in violation of the First and Fourteenth Amendments and treats similarly situated candidates differently without sufficient justification, in violation of the Fourteenth Amendment.
Hippert, et al. v. Ritchie, et al.
Represented Democratic voters in state redistricting proceeding in the Minnesota Supreme Court. The Supreme Court appointed a special redistricting panel to hear the case. The panel found that the population was “unconstitutionally mal-apportioned among the state’s current legislative districts.” 813 NW 2d 374 (Minn. 2012)
Minnesota Governor Recount
In re 2010 Gubernatorial Election
Successfully argued in Minnesota Supreme Court case in connection with 2010 gubernatorial recount. The Republican Party’s candidate for governor filed a petition seeking to invalidate the results of the election and start a recount focused on number of voter signatures. The Supreme Court denied the Republican’s petition. N.W.2d 256 (Minn. 2010)
Minnesota 2008 Senate Recount
In re Contest of General Election Held on Nov. 4, 2008
Obtained a unanimous decision affirming that Al Franken had received the highest number of votes legally cast in the 2008 general election for United States Senator and therefore was entitled to receive the certificate of election. Perkins Coie also represented Franken during the election, a six-week recount involving nearly three million ballots—the largest in American history, a seven-week trial, and multiple appearances before the Minnesota Supreme Court. 767 N.W.2d 453 (Minn. 2009).