St. Paul, MN (December 20, 2019) -- On Tuesday, December 17, 2020, the Minnesota Supreme Court set its schedule to resolve the matter of De La Fuente and Martin v. Simon, a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the upcoming presidential nomination primary election. The lawsuit asserts that James Martin of Lake Elmo is unable to cast a vote to nominate Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente for President of the United States because his name has been excluded from primary ballots. De La Fuente and Martin requested the Supreme Court order the Minnesota Secretary Of State to print De La Fuente’s name on the ballots no later than January 17, 2020. On that date, Minnesotans are scheduled to be the first voters in the United States to be able to advance the nomination of Presidential hopefuls.
But, on Wednesday, December 18, 2020, the Secretary Of State told the Supreme Court that it cannot possibly be in compliance with Minnesota Law if the Supreme Court’s schedule is followed. The Secretary must transmit the list of candidates to election officials of the 87 counties and ballot-production vendors so absentee ballots can be printed and distributed. And, equipment must be programmed for use by voters with disabilities. To ensure this is all done by January 17, 2020, the Secretary told the high court it requires the list of names to print on the primary ballots no later than January 3, 2020. The Secretary’s motion asserts that if a decision in the case is rendered after January 3, “it is highly likely that … a number of counties (would not) commence absentee balloting” by the date required by Minnesota Statutes.
On December 19, 2020, the Supreme Court denied the Secretary’s motion to change any deadline of the lawsuit. Oral argument remains scheduled to take place in the State Capitol Courthouse on January 9, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. leaving the question of ballot preparedness on the part of the Secretary in limbo.
Said plaintiff James Martin, “Good job on the part of the Supreme Court for holding its ground. The important issue regarding our inability to vote for candidates qualified to hold office under the Minnesota and US Constitutions needs to be very carefully considered: many men and women have died so we can choose from among us who will govern. And, I do agree with the underlying premise of the Secretary in that Minnesota needs the decision to be handed down sooner than later. All in all, I think our Supreme Court did a good job striking a balance here.”
On Tuesday, Minnesota DFL submitted their list of candidates to appear on the ballot. Like the Minnesota GOP, the DFL excluded candidates from appearing on primary ballots. Says Martin and De La Fuente’s attorney, Erick Kaardal, “This is a very stupid system and it is unconstitutional because political party chairs shouldn’t be in control of who is on the presidential primary ballot”. Kardall continues, “This is nationally embarrassing because we can’t even run a presidential primary correctly. … We’re asking for all the candidates who are qualified per the Minnesota Constitution to be on the ballot”.
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Jim Martin, 651-206-8663
Erick Kaardal, 612-465-0927