MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Democrats in Minnesota are asking the state’s Supreme Court to pull the Trump-Pence ticket from the state’s official ballot this November.
The filing — submitted to the court Thursday night — argues that the Minnesota Republican Party failed to nominate “alternate presidential electors,” during its party convention last May.
As part of the presidential nomination process, each party is required to give the Minnesota Secretary of State three names: the party’s candidates for president and vice president, 10 presidential electors, and 10 alternate presidential electors.
Those presidential electors are key to the country’s electoral college process that determines the winner of the presidential election. Each state gets a predetermined number of electoral votes, and Minnesota gets 10.
Those votes, however, aren’t just numbers — they’re real people. Party delegates vote at a convention to pick 10 “presidential electors” to cast Minnesota’s electoral votes — as per state law — should their presidential candidate win in the state. Delegates must also vote to pick 10 alternate presidential electors, should the former be unable to fulfill their duties.
The DFL’s Case
In its filing, the DFL argues the state GOP failed to elect its alternate presidential electors at its May convention in Duluth. In early August, the filing says the Minnesota Secretary of State (who oversees elections) notified Republican officials that they didn’t have the names of those alternates.
The incident raised some eyebrows among local politicos, who noticed the Secretary of State’s sample ballot didn’t include the Trump-Pence ticket. Republican officials later assured the media that it had fixed the problem with the Secreatary of State, and soon the sample ballot was corrected.
But the DFL says Republican officials only resolved the issue by selecting its alternate electors later that month in a closed-door meeting — and not in an election by the party’s delegates. Thus, Minnesota Democrats say, Republicans violated state law and the Secretary of State should not have corrected the mistake.
The filing says the Republican nominees for president and vice president are ineligible to appear on the November ballot, as state law inexorably ties them with presidential electors and alternate electors.
The court will have to issue a ruling soon, as the state’s ballot is finalized within the coming weeks. The case will likely cause a big fuss among lawmakers and party leaders in the months leading up to an already bitter election.