Minnesota Supreme Court rejects voter's effort to change GOP ballot

The Lake Elmo Republican had sued because President Trump is the only name on the ballot.
Publish date:

It looks as though Minnesota's presidential primaries will proceed without a hitch after the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled against a man whose lawsuit threatened to delay the start of absentee voting.

In a three-page decision on Thursday, the court rejected the challenge brought by Lake Elmo's James Martin, who was suing the Secretary of State because the Minnesota Republican Party was only offering one option on its primary ballot: President Donald Trump, along with a write-in section.

Martin is a supporter of Republican Roque "Rocky" De La Fuente, who is challenging Trump in the primaries, and argued he was being deliberately disenfranchised by the Minnesota GOP.

The court ultimately however chose to back a state law that allows the chairs of political parties to decide who is included on primary ballots.

Secretary of State Steve Simon had said that if the court ruled in Martin's favor, it would have required ballots to be reprinted, delaying the beginning of absentee voting in Minnesota – due to go ahead on Jan. 17 – as well as costing thousands of dollars.

After the ruling, Martin said: "Our state is spending millions of our tax dollars to ask us to decide from the candidates seeking our support who we feel best represents our political views, but no question is asked if there is a single candidate so we are literally being forced to pay for nothing.

"There is no way for the national Republican Party to be able to associate with its candidates, like Rocky, if the Republican Party Of Minnesota is allowed to sever that relationship."

The Minnesota DFL is including 15 candidates on its primary ballot, and had defended the GOP's decision to only include one, saying it's ultimately the decision of the respective parties.

The Minnesota GOP has previously said that the efforts of other primary candidates are "just distractions and outside noise," given the party's support for Trump.

Next Up