Though its votes aren't in contention, the state of Minnesota has found itself at the center of the ongoing legal battle over the 2020 election results — or, at least, at the center of the commotion.
It's the result of an erroneous legal filing in the state of Georgia, where noted attorney Lin Wood, a supporter of President Donald Trump, sued to stop the state from certifying its votes this week.
As part of his effort to cast doubt on Georgia's vote totals, Fast Company reports, Wood submitted an affidavit pointing to alleged voting machine problems in Michigan (another legal battleground in the 2020 campaign); the affidavit — comprised of testimony from a purported cybersecurity expert — said that several precincts in the state saw "anomalously high numbers of votes."
But there was one major problem with this testimony. As conservative blog Power Line notes, the Michigan townships and precincts mentioned in the document aren't in Michigan at all. They're in Minnesota.
"This would have been obvious to someone from this state," Power Line's John Hinderaker writes, "but (the cybersecurity expert who testified in the affidavit) is a Texan and the lawyers are probably not natives of either Minnesota or Michigan."
"This is a catastrophic error, the kind of thing that causes a legal position to crash and burn," Hinderaker sayd. "Trump’s lawyers are fighting an uphill battle, to put it mildly, and confusing Michigan with Minnesota will at best make the hill steeper."
This created a viral moment for the Trump campaign, which has launched — or is connected to — multiple lawsuits seeking to challenge the outcome of the election in several states.
Not surprisingly, it drew mockery across social media on Thursday and Friday:
But this legal misstep is hardly an isolated incident in the Republican election battle, it would seem.
As the Associated Press notes, these various lawsuits and their related filings have been marked by "elementary errors," including the following:
"...misspelling 'poll watcher' as 'pole watcher,' forgetting the name of the presiding judge during a hearing, inadvertently filing a Michigan lawsuit before an obscure court in Washington and having to refile complaints after erasing entire arguments they’re using to challenge results."
Despite the efforts of Trump's lawyers and allies, Georgia certified its votes on Friday, making President-elect Joe Biden's victory in the state official.