Thursday hearing will determine if start of Minnesota's primaries will be delayed

A voter is suing because President Trump is the only name on the GOP ballot.
Publish date:

A Minnesota Supreme Court hearing on Thursday will have implications for whether the start of the state's primary voting will be delayed.

Lake Elmo voter James Martin is suing the Minnesota Secretary of State because the Minnesota GOP is only including one name on its primary ballot for the 2020 presidential election: President Donald Trump.

Martin, a supporter of Rocky De La Fuente, argues it's unconstitutional of the Minnesota Republican Party not to give voters a choice of who it wants to run as the presidential nominee, with several primary challengers having put their names forward.

But Secretary of State Steve Simon has said that the outcome of the hearing could delay the start of absentee voting in Minnesota, with ballots due to go out on Jan. 17.

With oral arguments set to be heard by the court on Thursday, a court decision in favor of Martin will result in hundreds of thousands of ballots requiring to be reprinted and voting machines recalibrated, which in a submission to the court Simon said would cost the state thousands of dollars.

It would also mean that the ballots would not be able to be issued by Jan. 17 as planned.

If the court finds in the Secretary of State's favor, the ballots should be able to go out on time, a SOS office spokesperson told BMTN.

Among the arguments Simon will make to the court is that Martin took too long to file the suit, with 44 days between the date the Minnesota GOP announced that De La Fuente would not be on the ballot and the date he filed of the suit.

"Petitioners have provided no excuse for waiting more than six weeks to assert the claims in their petition," the filing says, calling the delay "unreasonable."

The Minnesota GOP has support in its decision regarding the ballot from the state DFL, with both Simon and Attorney General Keith Ellison it's the GOP's right to associate with whomever they want, per FOX 9.

Meanwhile a Trump campaign spokesman told the TV station that with Trump's record support, the efforts of other primary candidates are "just distractions and outside noise."

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

But in response, Martin says he is being deliberately disenfranchised by the GOP.

"We're the ones paying for the election to choose which candidate seeking to represent our groups' political ideology will do it," he said in a statement via his lawyers.

"If I can't vote for Rocky, I'm disenfranchised from politically affiliating with the group of people who think like me, both here in Minnesota and those around the country.

"I'm confident the Court will order the Secretary to allow me to vote for the candidate who I believe best represents my group's ideology. Next week, I'll be one of the first people in the United States voting directly against President Trump by casting my vote for Roque 'Rocky' De La Fuente."

Next Up

Karl-Anthony Towns

Wolves-Grizzlies game off, KAT tests postive for COVID

The Timberwolves star was among several players that are dealing with COVID-related issues.

minnesota state fair

Planning for the 2021 Minnesota State Fair is underway

The fair suffered huge financial losses due to COVID-19, but organizers are moving forward with planning "different scenarios" for this summer.

Screen Shot 2021-01-15 at 2.16.44 PM

Heather Brown named as new WCCO 'This Morning' anchor

She will be joining Jason DeRusha on the CBS affiliate's Morning Show.

DPS John Harrington

DPS Commissioner: No credible threats to state Capitol, but ready if something arises

Local and state law enforcement officials have a plan in case a threat arises.

snow, slush (submitted photo, ok to use)

Here are snow totals from Thursday-Friday winter storm

It's a slushy mess in the metro, but snow did pile up in southern counties.

tim walz

Walz fury after report that government's COVID vaccine reserve is nonexistent

The Washington Post reported Friday that the Trump Administration has shipped out all the vaccines it has already, with none in reserve.

closed sign

What's open and closed in Minnesota on MLK Day 2021?

Local government offices will generally be closed on Monday.

BMTN 900x450 (8)

Company that falsely promised student loan forgiveness banned from MN

It's also been ordered to repay $11,499 in fees taken from Minnesotans.

covid-19, coronavirus

Here is Minnesota's COVID update for January 15

Hospitalizations are the lowest in Minnesota since October 25.


Osterholm: B117 COVID strain could become major issue in 6-8 weeks

The B117 variant is believed to be more easily transmitted.


MN 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.

Lawsuit 'highly likely' to delay Minnesota's presidential primary

A Lake Elmo man is suing because his favored candidate is not on the ballot.

Screen Shot 2019-10-11 at 7.01.24 AM

MN GOP primary voters have choice of Donald Trump, Donald T, and D. Trump

No challengers or write-in option will be listed on the ballot.

vote, vote now

LIVE UPDATES: Minnesota presidential primary 2020

The latest updates as Minnesotans vote for their presidential candidates.


Minnesota waives requirement for absentee ballot witnesses in primary

The Minnesota SOS has waived the witness requirement and will count ballots postmarked received 2 days after the primary.

Joe Biden

Joe Biden: 'We won Minnesota tonight because of Amy Klobuchar'

The Minnesota senator dropped out last minute and endorsed the former VP.