GOP snafu almost kept Donald Trump off the ballot in Minnesota

Publish date:

Just five days before the deadline to be on the Minnesota ballot for November's presidential election, Donald Trump's name was set to be left off.

Republicans in Minnesota have had to scramble this week to make sure the GOP candidate makes it onto the ballot ahead of the Aug. 29 deadline, after they reportedly failed to submit important paperwork.

As of Thursday lunchtime, the name of Donald Trump and his vice president pick Mike Pence still do not appear on the sample ballot you can download from the website of Minnesota's Secretary of State Steve Simon.

KARE 11 reports this is because when the State GOP submitted Trump's and Pence's names for the ballot immediately following the Republican National Convention in July, they failed to submit the names of 10 certified presidential electors and 10 certified alternatives in Minnesota.

GOP Chairman Keith Downey told the TV station the state informed the GOP on Aug. 9 that Trump and Pence wouldn't be on the ballot until they submitted this additional paperwork.

In a statement issued Thursday, the Republican Party of Minnesota confirmed it had completed all the relevant paperwork and submitted it to the Secretary of State.

"Chairman Keith Downey completed his legal requirements of submitting the names of the nominees along with nominees for Elector and Alternate Elector in advance of next week’s filing deadline," the statement said.

Trump and Pence are now listed on the Secretary of State's candidate filing page, and the Pioneer Press reports they should appear on the sample ballot shortly.

The ballot problem was pointed out on Wednesday by blogger Michael Brodkorb, a former Republican Party of Minnesota official, who tweeted when he noticed Trump's name wasn't on the sample ballot along with Hillary Clinton's.

GOP leaders held a hastily convened meeting to select certified alternatives on Wednesday evening, but in doing so they may fall foul of Republican Party of Minnesota rules, CityPages reports, which states all electors and their alternates should be selected at the state party convention, which took place in May.

In circumventing its own rules, Brodkorb told CityPages the GOP could leave itself open for a legal challenge.

"My assumption is, they think what they did last night is a fix," he told the publication. "But this is politics, where people fight over the shape of a table being round or square. This is just ripe for problems. There could be nothing more 2016 than this."

The Washington Post's summary of the story was: "Bottom line: The state Republican Party messed up – and Trump was the one who took the hit."

Next Up