Minnesota election officials are investigating six counties where duplicate names were found on voter registration lists—in one case reaching more than 300 duplicate names in a single county.
The Public Interest Legal Foundation is an election watchdog organization that found 515 duplicate names in voter registration lists across six Minnesota counties. It filed complaints.
An individual could have the right to vote more than once if they are on the voter roll more than once.
The Public Interest Legal Foundation stated that it found the most duplicate voter names in Hennepin County. According to the registry, 334 names appear to have two voter numbers, despite having the same address and year of birth.
This was the county with the most duplicate names in Minnesota.
The federal Help America Vote Act was passed in 2002. It requires that all states implement a computerized, statewide voter registration system that is accurate, and eliminates duplicate registrations.
The law doesn’t allow for private lawsuits, but the legal foundation filed a complaint with the office of Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, who oversees elections. His office is conducting the investigation.
Simon spokesperson Casandra Knudson confirmed in an email Wednesday to The Daily Signal that the Secretary of State’s Office “will be hearing the complaint.” But based on state law, she said, “we have no comment.”
Simon is a Democrat, or a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, as it is called in Minnesota.
The Public Interest Legal Foundation’s complaint against Nicollet County says that four persons were registered twice under the same birthdate and address.
Someone using one duplicate name—that of a man convicted of sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl and making terrorist threats and then committed as mentally ill—voted twice in the 2020 election.
The legal foundation also filed an action against Dakota County alleging that the county has 73 duplicate records.
Olmsted and Todd are the three remaining counties where the Public Interest Legal Foundation intends to file complaints.
Under the Help America Vote Act, private organizations or individuals cannot sue a county for failing to abide by the law–in this case, doing list maintenance.
“There is no right of private action under HAVA,” J. Christian Adams, president of the Public Interest Legal Foundation, told The Daily Signal, referring to the federal law. “The only entity that can sue under HAVA is the DOJ [Department of Justice].”
“Each duplicate registration allows for a person to vote more than once,” Adams added. “Removing these duplicate registrations will make Minnesota’s elections more secure.”
The Motor Voter Law, also known as the National Voter Registration Act of93, exempted Minnesota from the Motor Voter Law.
This federal law is known mostly for allowing those getting a driver’s license to register to vote at the same time. It also includes a provision that requires local jurisdictions to update voter lists to delete ineligible voters’ names, such as dead persons, those who have moved outside of the jurisdiction, or duplicate names.
The 1993 law also exempted five other states: New Hampshire (Wisconsin), Idaho, Wyoming, North Dakota and North Dakota.
Adams said he didn’t know yet whether his legal foundation would bring action in those five states.