Democracy is Dying in Minnesota

In order to independently determine the true extent of voter fraud in Minnesota’s elections, the Minnesota Voters Alliance initiated a lawsuit aimed at forcing the secretary of state to comply with the Minnesota Data Practices Act by releasing the millions of records on “inactive” voters as well as the government-assigned voter statuses that identify voters who have failed eligibility checks. Prior to 2008, this information was routinely provided to the public on request. That changed after the 2008 election, when independent research by Minnesota Majority demonstrated, among other problems, that at least 1,000 ineligible persons voted, leading to hundreds of voter fraud convictions. This, when our US Senate race was decided by just 312 votes, giving Al Franken the 60th Senate vote needed to sweep in Obamacare. After that embarrassing revelation, the secretary of state’s office clamped down, refusing to release public election data crucial for that type of research.

In a stunning, nonsensical and completely partisan 5-2 decision, the Minnesota Supreme Court today ruled that the Secretary of State may now unilaterally decide what election data is released to the public. All justices appointed by Democrat governors agreed to give Democrat Secretary of State Steve Simon this unfettered authority to conceal key election data from public scrutiny. He is thus granted authority to arbitrarily share data with his friends and withhold the same data from others as he chooses.

While the court refused to order the secretary to release the requested data, it did not determine that he could not. The culmination of state court rulings (consisting of two prior losses for the secretary and this reversal by the Minnesota Supreme Court) means, however, that the secretary cannot hide behind statutes or past court opinions as excuses not to release the data. Indeed, the high court has affirmed that he has the discretion to release the disputed data at the center of the case if he so wishes!

 

The secretary of state is a partisan, elected official and as such, should be held to the highest standards of transparency and accountability. After all, he presides over the elections of himself and his fellow party members. With today’s ruling, the entire populous of Minnesota is now told to simply take this one man’s word on published election results. I asked before, “what is the secretary of state trying to hide?” Now, thanks to his allies on the state’s high court, we’ll never know, unless Secretary Simon himself relents and agrees to allow public scrutiny of the disputed election records.

Writing for the 2-judge dissent, Chief Justice Gildea concluded:

In sum, the majority’s holding gives the Secretary of State discretion to classify voter registration data as not public, even if the data is not designated by any statute as not public. This holding conflicts with the central tenet of the Data Practices Act that “all ‘government data’ shall be public unless otherwise classified by statute[.]” Demers v. City of Minneapolis, 468 N.W.2d 71, 73 (Minn. 1991). Decisions about the classification of government data and public access to voter registration data are policy matters for the Legislature. As the majority recognizes, if the law needs revision, “the Legislature, not the judiciary, must be the reviser.” Axelberg v. Comm’r of Pub. Safety, 848 N.W.2d 206, 213 (Minn. 2014). Accordingly, I would affirm the court of appeals and conclude that respondents are entitled to the disputed data because the data is public under the Data Practices Act.

In a statement, the Minnesota Voters Alliance renewed it’s call for the secretary of state to release the data. “Unfortunately, it appears that Secretary Simon is determined to continue his obstruction of voting records needed to assess the full extent of ineligible voting in Minnesota and will not be releasing these public records any time soon,” said Andy Cilek, Executive Director of the Minnesota Voters Alliance.

Election results published by a partisan elected official that can not be independently verified are less than worthless. We have become a banana republic. Without transparency, there is no real purpose to casting a ballot in state elections.

Without transparency, voting in Minnesota becomes comparable to playing blackjack blindfolded and being required to trust the dealer (who’s betting against you) to tell you what cards turn up. Would you make that bet?

We must not accept these untenable circumstances. The act of voting is being made a mockery until either the secretary relents and releases all election data that is not explicitly classified as private by statute or a federal court so orders after further appeal.

URGENT! TAKE ACTION: For the survival of democracy in Minnesota, contact the secretary of state and demand that he release the full set of data requested by Minnesota Voters Alliance as the courts have found he is legally permitted to do.

Office of the Secretary of State
180 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, MN 55155-1299

Metro Area phone: (651) 215-1440
Greater Minnesota phone: 1-877-600-VOTE (8683)
Elections email: secretary.state@state.mn.us 
Open Appointments email: open.appointments@state.mn.us
Fax: (651) 296-9073

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4 comments

  • Jp

    Not voting is not the answer, huge turn outs can’t be fiddled with as easily, vote all! Then fix the problem.

  • How can this possibly be Constitutional?

    Under the Data Practices Act, the data is irrefutably public.

    What the

    “In sum, the majority’s holding gives the Secretary of State discretion to classify voter registration data as not public, even if the data is not designated by any statute as not public. This holding conflicts with the central tenet of the Data Practices Act that “all ‘government data’ shall be public unless otherwise classified by statute[.]” Demers v. City of Minneapolis, 468 N.W.2d 71, 73 (Minn. 1991). Decisions about the classification of government data and public access to voter registration data are policy matters for the Legislature. As the majority recognizes, if the law needs revision, “the Legislature, not the judiciary, must be the reviser.” Axelberg v. Comm’r of Pub. Safety, 848 N.W.2d 206, 213 (Minn. 2014).”

    Hell no, don’t go into apathy about voting. Now is the time to implore MORE voters. Not less:

    Hopelessness, by the tired, who then cease to enlighten the few who are ready, willing, and able to be enlightened, is one of the main reasons why We The People have had our Liberty slowly eroded –VERY slowly, so as to have it not noticed by the under-educated and under-vigilant– and thereby slowly usurped by the power-elite.

    The True Price of Freedom is Vigilance.

    By Forrest K. Harstad
    .
    .

    ~ vigilance
    — the action or state of keeping careful watch for possible danger or difficulties.
    “Security duties demand continued vigilance.”
    Synonyms:
    catchfulness, carefulness, attentiveness, alertness, guardedness, cautiousness, mindfulness, heedfulness, prudence, care.

    The word, vigilance, comes to us through French from a Latin word that meant to keep awake.

    .

    “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.

    “We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children’s children what it was once like in the United States where men were free.”

    ~ Ronald Reagan, in 1961.

    In 1967 he added the following to his variant of that speech when he became Governor of California.

    “Those who have known freedom and then lost it have never known it again.”

    .

    The true price of Freedom:

    .

    “It is the common fate of the indolent [lazy] to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt.”

    ~ John Philpot Curran
    1790, in his speech upon the Right of Election.
    .
    .
    .

    Witness what happened in Venezuela in the 2010s.
    .
    .
    .
    Do you know what happened to the 56 people who signed our Declaration of Independence ?

    ?

    Twelve of them had their homes ransacked and burned.

    Nine of them died from wounds or hardships of the Revolutionary War.

    Five were captured and tortured to death.

    Two lost their sons to their service in the war.

    Another had two sons captured.

    The 56 signers pledged their Lives, their Fortunes, and their sacred Honor.

    (That’s the very last line of the Declaration of Independence.)

    And they knew they were pledging the lives of their children.

    .

    What kind of people were they?

    All were well educated and well to do, if not downright wealthy.

    Twenty-four were lawyers and jurists.
    Eleven were merchants.
    Nine were farmers.

    Carter Braxton of Virginia, a wealthy planter and trader, saw his ships swept from the seas by the British Navy. He sold his home and properties to pay his debts. He died in rags.

    Thomas McKeam was so hounded by the British that he was forced to move his family almost constantly. His family was kept in hiding. Poverty was his reward.

    The properties of Dillery, Hall, Clymer, Walton, Gwinnett, Heyward, Ruttledge, and Middleton were all looted.

    Because the British General, Cornwallis, had taken over Thomas Nelson, Jr.’s home, Mr. Nelson quietly urged General George Washington to open fire. That was the battle of Yorktown. Nelson’s home was destroyed. Nelson died bankrupt.

    Francis Lewis’ home was destroyed, too. His wife was jailed. She died within a few months.

    John Hart was driven from his wife’s bedside as she was dying. Their 13 children fled for their lives. His gristmill and his fields were laid to waste. For more than a year he lived in forests and caves.

    .

    .

    .

    I repeat: The Price of Freedom is Vigilance.
    .
    .
    .

    That means we have no choice but to keep careful watch for possible danger or difficulties –watch over our elected officials, that is.

    Remember, the word, vigilance, comes from a Latin word that meant to keep awake.

    .

    This bears repeating, too:

    “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.”

    .

    .

    .

    Bottom line:

    We have a duty to all mankind to teach the following to our children.

    Those who don’t study history are doomed to repeat it.
    Those who do study history are doomed to hearing the un-learned majority insist upon repeating it.

    THAT is what has repeatedly cost the masses their liberty to powerful usurpers –to the power-elite– of any and every nation since the beginning of nation-building on Earth.

    ~ Forrest K. Harstad
    .

    ( ~ usurpers ~ to usurp means to take, or take over, from others their rights or power or importance or sovereignty wrongfully. The word comes to us from Latin virtually unchanged.)

    .

    “The secret of Freedom
    lies in educating people,
    whereas
    the secret of tyranny
    is in keeping them ignorant.”

    ~ Maximilien Robespierre
    in a public statement, November 1792, after he was accused of having himself become tyrannical.

    (Robespierre was the leader of one of the most radical political groups involved in the French Revolution –the Jacobin movement, established in 1779, three years after our American Declaration of Independence, during the heat of our war of Independence. He later participated in writing the Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen which became the foundation of the French constitution.)

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