Minnesota DFL seeks Trump’s ballot removal

Minnesota's DFL Party moved Thursday to have Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump removed from the November ballot, arguing the state GOP failed to abide by candidate filing laws.

State Democratic Party Chairman Ken Martin filed a petition with the Minnesota Supreme Court to strike Trump and running mate Mike Pence. The petition contends Trump's candidate filing was flawed because the Republican Party failed to properly choose the people who would cast Electoral College votes for their candidate if he wins Minnesota.

A Trump campaign spokesman had no immediate comment. Republican Party Chairman Keith Downey didn't return an email late Thursday seeking his reaction.

Major-party presidential candidates had until Aug. 29 to gain access to Minnesota's ballot. Paperwork for both Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton was filed with room to spare. Seven minor-party candidates also qualified for the ballot after submitting at least 2,000 signatures each.

For Trump and Clinton, their parties had to submit the names of 10 electors and 10 alternates, certifying that they were chosen at the spring state party conventions. In the case of Trump, the Republican Party only selected the 10 electors at its May convention and waited until late August to choose the alternates.

"The Secretary of State accepted the certification and agreed to list Trump and Pence on the ballot despite the fact that Downey’s certification was untrue; the Republican Party’s alternate presidential electors were not nominated by the State Republican Party’s delegate convention called and held under the supervision of the State Republican Party Central Committee as required by Minn. Stat. § 208.03," the DFL petition reads.

The petition was first reported by blogger Michael Brodkorb, a former deputy Republican Party chairman.

The Supreme Court hasn't scheduled a hearing in the case but usually moves swiftly to resolve election-related litigation. There is pressure to get it resolved soon: Minnesota's absentee voting period starts Sept. 23.

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