Election Law Broken?


Is Minnesota election law being ignored by the Minnesota Secretary of State?

  • New voting systems provided via software update not appropriately announced in timely manner nor demonstrated publicly in keeping with Minnesota Statute 206.58
  • Late June 2022—the People notified city and township clerks in Sherburne County of statutory violation
  • June 29, 2022—Sherburne County Auditor denies a new system is being used in an email to city and township clerks and election administrators
  • The Election Assistance Commission (EAC) defines Dominion 5.0 as a new system
  • Office of the Secretary of State will dispatch State Election Director to answer questions from Sherburne County Board in upcoming July 12, 2022 County Commissioners Board Meeting

Secretary of State Steve Simon declined to audit Crow Wing County after its commissioners voted 4-1 in favor, even though the audit could have been done in a matter of days to settle what he called the “spread of disinformation” in his official response to the Crow Wing County commissioners. With that decision, the current chief election official of Minnesota, charged with administering election laws, may have thought his worries were over. However, it seems they are only beginning.

Statute Violated

In Sherburne County (at a minimum), Minnesota Statute 206.58 appears to have been violated when, with less than 60 days prior to an election, a new voting system from Dominion was introduced without proper public notice nor a demonstration of the voting system in a public place.

Voting for the August 9 Primary Election began Friday, June 24, 2022

This comes in the context of the federal Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) announcing vulnerabilities in Dominion systems in early June 2022. This was on the heels of confirmed vote swaps in Antrim County, Michigan and proven database manipulation in Mesa County, Colorado in both the 2020 general election and 2021 Grand Junction municipal election.

The EAC defines Dominion Voting Systems Democracy Suite (D-Suite) Version 5.0 as a new system in its 2/17/2017 Test Report for EAC 2005 VVSG 1.0 Certification Testing Dominion Voting Systems Democracy Suite (D-Suite) Version 5.0 Voting System.

And here again on 6/16/2020 from the EAC’s Dominion Voting Systems D-Suite 5.5-C Test Report:

The Sherburne County Auditor-Treasurer, Diane Arnold, claims this is not a new system, but merely a software upgrade to the same system purchased and certified in 2016, as evidenced by an email sent to city and township clerks and election administrators.

She says “Minnesota Statute 206.58 subd.1 applies to new election equipment and not software updates.”

However, if Minnesota Statute 206.58 is read again, we find, “…a new voting system…”

And it is true that a new system can be installed via a software update. Does a software update make that system any less new or less worthy of testing, public notice, and public demonstration?

The details (not shown) of this electronic voting system are complex.

Accountability Needed

It took the people of Minnesota and residents of Sherburne County to inform their local elected officials including city and township clerks, that Minnesota’s election code had been violated.

Had they not alerted them, these new systems would have been used in the upcoming primary elections on August 9 without wider public knowledge.

Where is the Minnesota Secretary of State, Steve Simon? The Secretary of State is called by his office and state statute to ensure the administration of election laws in the state of Minnesota.

In a recent Wright County Election Performance Improvement workshop (held in late June), Democrat activists asked whether Secretary of State Simon had been invited. He had been, but was not in attendance and nor was a representative.

The notifications to Sherburne County officials about this statutory violation led to an emergency meeting held to discuss the county’s options. The Sherburne County Auditor-Treasurer opted to send an email denying that they had indeed installed new systems, calling them mere software updates. However, they do not deny the software update which introduced the new voting system referred to in state statute.

There is some indication that the Secretary of State is aware of the problems introduced in this article, since the Minnesota State Election Director David Maeda (from the Office of the Secretary of State) will be in attendance at the Tuesday, July 12, 2022 10 a.m. county commissioners board meeting to discuss election processes and take questions from the County Board. (As with all county commissioner board meetings, this meeting will be streamed live on Sherburne’s YouTube channel in accordance with open meeting policies.)

A Note from the Author

We the People are trying to do the right thing. We’ve come to county commissioner meetings every two weeks across the state (compilation video) to help our elected officials learn what we have learned about our compromised systems.

We’ve provided significant amounts of information regarding the Dominion systems to county commissioners, election officials, and clerks throughout Sherburne County.

It should not have been the voters themselves who had to protect their own vote. It’s time for our elected officials to uphold the election laws on the books in Minnesota, starting with the Secretary of State.

There is a chance to fix what went wrong before the August 9, 2022 primary elections. For just one path forward, consider:

  1. Hand tallying is already acceptable by state statute
  2. Minnesota uses paper ballots and could hand tally them since the new electronic voting system was not properly introduced according to statute
  3. Doing so would provide a solid test case to see how hand tallying effort, resources, and accuracy compares with electronic tallying effort, resources, and accuracy