Minnesota Report

Yesterday, Secretary of State Steve Simon (DFL) released the following statement regarding applying the 14th Amendment to the US Constitution here in Minnesota. We also will remind you, dedicated readers, about our article on this same topic which is literally a few articles below, entitled Can Minnesota Prevent Trump from the Ballot?

September 7, 2023CONTACT:
Cassondra Knudson
651-274-2534Sec. Steve Simon Statement on Determining Eligibility for Presidential Candidates

Correction: An earlier version of this statement misstated the deadline for candidate submissions for the Presidential Nominating Primary and the date of the Presidential Nominating Primary. The correct deadline for candidate submissions for the Presidential Nominating Primary is January 2, 2024 and the Presidential Nominating Primary will be held on March 5, 2024.

SAINT PAUL — Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon issued this statement regarding the procedure for determining eligibility for presidential candidates:

“As the Secretary of State, my responsibility is to ensure the people of Minnesota have free, fair, secure, and accurate elections. Every eligible Minnesotan deserves the opportunity to cast their ballot for the candidate of their choosing.

Over the past several weeks, my office has received hundreds of emails, calls, and letters regarding a legal argument that the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution calls into question the eligibility of former President Donald Trump to run for office again. 

The Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State does not have legal authority to investigate a candidate’s eligibility for office. In the case of presidential candidates, the major political parties will submit names of candidates to our office for the Presidential Nomination Primary by January 2, 2024. Those submissions will appear on the ballot for the March 5, 2024 contest unless a court says otherwise. A similar process and presumption will apply to the November 5, 2024 election. 

Minnesota law (Minn. Stat. 204B.44) allows one or more people to challenge in court the eligibility of a candidate to appear on a ballot. Our office will continue to honor the outcome of that process, as we have in the past.” 

Candidates on the ballot of the Presidential Nominating Primary (Minn. Stat. 207A.13)  

Subd. 2.Candidates on the ballot.
(a) Each party participating in the presidential nomination primary must determine which candidates are to be placed on the presidential nomination primary ballot for that party. The chair of each participating party must submit to the secretary of state the names of the candidates to appear on the ballot for that party no later than 63 days before the presidential nomination primary. Once submitted, changes must not be made to the candidates that will appear on the ballot.

(b) No later than the seventh day before the presidential nomination primary, the chair of each participating party must submit to the secretary of state the names of write-in candidates, if any, to be counted for that party.

Candidacy (Minn. Stat. 204B.04)  

Subdivision 1.Major party candidates.
No individual shall be named on any ballot as the candidate of more than one major political party. No individual who has been certified by a canvassing board as the nominee of any major political party shall be named on any ballot as the candidate of any other major political party at the next ensuing general election.

Subd. 2.Candidates seeking nomination by primary.
No individual who seeks nomination for any partisan or nonpartisan office at a primary shall be nominated for the same office by nominating petition.

Candidate Filing Errors and Omissions (Minn. Stat. 204B.44

(a) Any individual may file a petition in the manner provided in this section for the correction of any of the following errors, omissions, or wrongful acts which have occurred or are about to occur:

(1) an error or omission in the placement or printing of the name or description of any candidate or any question on any official ballot, including the placement of a candidate on the official ballot who is not eligible to hold the office for which the candidate has filed;
(2) any other error in preparing or printing any official ballot;
(3) failure of the chair or secretary of the proper committee of a major political party to execute or file a certificate of nomination;
(4) any wrongful act, omission, or error of any election judge, municipal clerk, county auditor, canvassing board or any of its members, the secretary of state, or any other individual charged with any duty concerning an election.

(b) The petition shall describe the error, omission, or wrongful act and the correction sought by the petitioner. The petition shall be filed with any judge of the supreme court in the case of an election for state or federal office or any judge of the district court in that county in the case of an election for county, municipal, or school district office. The petitioner shall serve a copy of the petition on the officer, board or individual charged with the error, omission, or wrongful act, on all candidates for the office in the case of an election for state, federal, county, municipal, or school district office, and on any other party as required by the court. Upon receipt of the petition the court shall immediately set a time for a hearing on the matter and order the officer, board or individual charged with the error, omission or wrongful act to correct the error or wrongful act or perform the duty or show cause for not doing so. In the case of a review of a candidate’s eligibility to hold office, the court may order the candidate to appear and present sufficient evidence of the candidate’s eligibility. The court shall issue its findings and a final order for appropriate relief as soon as possible after the hearing. Failure to obey the order is contempt of court.