We had the privilege to interview Secretary of State Steve Simon (DFL). Additionally, we will be on a Zoom Press Conference with him at 4:00 pm and report what we learned then as well. Stay tuned keep coming back through out the night to see what more we glean.
C&B: What do you predict the turnout will be in its entirety for the 2020 election?
SoS Simon: I think we have a good shot of breaking the 2008 modern day record of 77%. The next barrier after that would be the crash the 80% threshold, I’m not sure about that. But I’m pretty confident that we’ll do better than last time which was just shy of 75% so
I’m thinking high 70s.
C&B: Okay. do you consider the acceptance of a voter registration card and a request for an absentee ballot to be a contract between the state and a voter contract?
SoS Simon: That’s interesting. I hadn’t thought about that is it a contract. Some might interpreted that way. I’m just, I’m not sure I’d have to think about that a little bit. And it’s certainly an agreement of some kind, whether it’s a formal contract I’m not sure.
C&B: Well, the reason I ask is whether or not you argued that concept from your office or did the Attorney General do so in the eighth District Court ruling.
SoS Simon: Well, that wasn’t so much about voter registration. It was about just the date that stuff can come back So know that there was no argument like that in there because the issue hasn’t been raised yet, it could be raised as opposed mostly to get a post-election litigation.
C&B: And the reason I say that again comes this way as the same as the same day registrations state shooting a registered voter be able to vote by absentee ballot on election day. And if it’s duly postmarked to reflect this wouldn’t then be accepted as a legally cast vote.
SoS Simon: Well, yes under the circumstances of what we agreed to and what the court in Minnesota blast the district court. Yes, they should be able to post market and have it arrive one week later.
C&B: Okay, because the US Constitution leaves elections to be determined by the state isn’t the intercedes of a federal court, a direct overstep to the constitutional provision, meaning the even have jurisdiction?
SoS Simon: They do. And, I mean, the argument in this particular case was that these plaintiffs have standing to sue because they are electors and they are implicated federal elections, because there is a federal election process to elect the president united states that’s how they got in the door of the courthouse was to use that hook. So, I mean there is a role for federal courts, but our view is they should defer to state processes particularly where state courts have blessed certain rules changes
with the, with the ruling by the eighth district panel.
C&B: How will you treat any ballots that arrive after 8 pm.
SoS Simon: Today, we will count every ballot, and every office on every ballot.
C&B: Do you anticipate that any ballots could arrive between 8pm and midnight?
SoS Simon: You know, any I’m not sure. That’s a good question. I don’t know how that would happen. I mean polls close at eight so regardless we’re told to segregate after 8pm so even if they did, they’d be subject to the segregation order. But that’s an interesting question I’m not sure how many if any do, it’s possible.
C&B: With the directive for those votes to be set aside, will you have a separate result for that group. And have that made available to the public or will they be commingled in undistinguished undistinguishable from other votes cast?
They will be commingled all absentee ballots along with all in person ballots along with all same day ballots are always commingled and that will be the same this year. The only difference will be that we’ll have a report based by today’s Tuesday well obviously election night we’ll do a ton of reporting tonight and then at the end of the day, the day tomorrow and Thursday and Friday and so on, we’ll also have a supplemental report, where we’ll say what the report was as of that day it’ll be a rolling total.
C&B: So, then will you segregate the results of these separate balance between the US presidential race and all down ballot races.
SoS Simon: Nope, we will not.
C&B: Okay, once opened won’t those ballots also be subject to possible public information or data requests.
SoS Simon: That I’m not sure about, I don’t know the answer to that, um, you can’t, the same rules would apply. You can’t generally see ballots, unless there’s cause to do so a particular procedure or recount something like that. So, the same rules would apply.
C&B: What are the consequences of disobeying the Eighth district panel?
We don’t intend to disobey, we’re going to do what they said all they said was to do was segregate, and we’re going to segregate the balance. We’re just going to have the way we count them as a running total but you’ll be able to trace which ones, capable we were very clear about what they wanted and we will of course honor that which is going to be segregated but they didn’t say anything about how they’re reported or counted, but we will segregate them you will be able to tell which ones came in after certain time, so then if someone seems to invalidate them you’ll be able to do that so no we’re not going to disobey the court.