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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.
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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."

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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."

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