By Matthew Vadum
Two Minnesota counties have agreed to remove duplicate voter registrations from their voter rolls after an election-integrity group sued them.
Nicollet County and Hennepin County, which includes Minneapolis, the state’s most populous city, recently settled out of court after the Public Interest Legal Foundation (PILF) discovered the problem and filed claims with the secretary of state’s adjudication system. More than 300 duplicate registrations were found.
In September, PILF filed complaints against six counties in the state, claiming they failed to remove duplicate registrations. Under the federal Help America Vote Act (HAVA), states must implement a computerized statewide voter registration list that is accurate and removes duplicate registrations.
One of PILF’s remaining Minnesota complaints—against Ramsey County for 62 duplicate registrations allegedly appearing on the county’s voter roll—has yet to be resolved. Two other counties were ordered to clean up their voter rolls.
The settlement in the Hennepin case was finalized on Dec. 15; the Nicollet case was finalized on Dec. 14. Both complaints were before Bibi Black, a hearing officer in the office of Secretary of State Steve Simon, a Democrat.
In settlement papers examined by The Epoch Times, neither county admitted to wrongdoing. The counties agreed to take steps to prevent duplicate registrations in the future.
“These agreements are a win for election integrity,” said J. Christian Adams, president of PILF, in a statement provided to The Epoch Times.
Idaho, Minnesota, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Wisconsin, and Wyoming are exempt from the National Voter Registration Act, also known as the motor-voter law, because, “on and after August 1, 1994, they either had no voter-registration requirements or had election-day voter registration at polling places with respect to elections for federal office.” Puerto Rico, Guam, Virgin Islands, and American Samoa are also exempt from the law, the U.S. Department of Justice states on its website.
PILF spokeswoman Lauren Bis told The Epoch Times that her group used a “cutting edge legal strategy to force the state to clean its voter roll” when it moved forward under HAVA.
“Removing these hundreds of duplicate registrations has made Minnesota’s elections more secure. Every duplicate registration provides an opportunity for an individual to vote twice,” she wrote in a Dec. 22 email.
PILF describes itself as “the nation’s only public interest law firm dedicated wholly to election integrity.” The nonprofit organization “exists to assist states and others to aid the cause of election integrity, and fight against lawlessness in American elections.”
Carolyn Marinan, public relations officer for Hennepin County, and Michelle Zehnder Fischer, county attorney for Nicollet County, didn’t respond by press time to a request from The Epoch Times for comment.