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If elections are so safe and secure, why are election integrity groups winning so many battles?



by Elizabeth Ayoub | September 5, 2023


Contrary to what we may read in the legacy media, the courts are upholding election law. Erick Kaardal, partner with Mohrman, Kaardal & Erickson (MKE) and special counsel to the Thomas More Society, leads the nation with 61 election-related wins under his belt since 2020. Below are a few of the Harvard graduate's and other firm's cases--each created with one goal in mind: To help improve government and defend citizen rights.


Before the 2020 election, Erick Kaardal and team filed legal claims in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Texas, Georgia, and South Carolina. Plaintiffs argued against private funding of election administration by the Zuckerberg-funded Center for Tech and Civic Life. The lawsuits were dismissed on jurisdictional grounds or voluntarily withdrawn, but after the election, 25 states adopted bans on private funding for election administration. (Sadly, Michigan voters were bamboozled into voting for Proposal 2, which allows private funding of elections with financial disclosure.)

Since the 2020 election, nine (9) states have withdrawn from the Electronic Registration Information Center (ERIC), a private, three-employee, non-profit with no office. Only 24 member states remain in ERIC. The claims MKE filed in Michigan, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Minnesota helped pave the way and inform state election officials that contracting with ERIC and sharing driver data are in violation of the federal Driver Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) and the Help America Vote Act (HAVA). ERIC-exiting states include Louisiana, Alabama, Missouri, Florida, West Virginia, Iowa, Ohio, Virginia, and Texas. (See PIME HAVA Complaint Against SOS Benson for Joining MI in third-party ERIC)


Cities in Minnesota and Michigan passed ordinances compelling landlords to provide voter registration materials to tenants. The voter registration materials to be provided had to be approved by the respective city councils. Landlords, represented by the Kaardal as special counsel to the Thomas More Society, filed suit. The United States District Court in Minnesota ruled in favor of the landlords. Understanding the significance of the landlords’ victory in the State of Minnesota, the cities of East Lansing and Ann Arbor decided to repeal these constitutionally-offensive ordinances--Another victory for securing elections.


Kaardal filed suit in Milwaukee and Madison, Wisconsin, claiming the Twin Cities were using legally unauthorized absentee ballot drop boxes funded by an outside organization. The courts ruled the cities had to stop. Teigen v. Wisconsin Elections Commission | Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (will-law.org)


A group of concerned citizens in Minnesota opposed a ballot proposal to raise taxes. This group, represented by Kaardal, desired to persuade other voters to reject the tax proposal. Minnesota’s Attorney General attempted to enforce a criminal law against these citizens, claiming that their statements were “false information.” The United States Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit ruled that the behavior and speech of these citizens was not criminal behavior, that they were not “criminals” for stating what the attorney general of Minnesota claimed were “false statements.” 281 Care Committee v. Arneson, 08-CV-5215 (JMR/FLN) | Casetext Search + Citator


After the State of Minnesota placed restrictions on what individuals could wear into polling places, Kaardal claimed violations of free speech. The law was challenged and defeated in court. Protecting Free Speech at the Ballot Box: Minnesota Voters Alliance v. Mansky (goldwaterinstitute.org)


The State of Minnesota passed laws that prohibited candidates running for judicial offices from announcing their views on disputed legal or political issues. After considering Kaardal's argument, the U.S. Supreme Court held that Minnesota could not violate these candidates’ first amendment free speech rights, and the judicial candidates prevailed. Republican Party of Minnesota v. White :: 536 U.S. 765 (2002) :: Justia US Supreme Court Center


Minnesota’s Secretary of State initiated an on-line voter registration system. Kaardal filed a claim, and the court ruled the SOS had to discontinue the legally unauthorized system. Order-62CV137718-20140428.pdf (mncourts.gov)


With voter rolls that needed purging due to numerous ineligible voters remaining on the rolls, Judicial Watch sued the State of Colorado and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. After facing this lawsuit, Colorado’s Secretary of State agreed to clean up the voter rolls and to provide Judicial Watch with information for five years to prove the cleanup was being done.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania removed 178,258 ineligible registrants from its rolls after Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit. The Commonwealth will report to its efforts to Judicial Watch for the next five years. The Commonwealth paid – from taxpayer dollars -- $15,000 to Judicial Watch for legal costs.


An investigation of Dane County revealed that over 300 court-adjudicated ineligible wards cast ballots illegally after an individual, with counsel from Kaardal, filed an administrative complaint. (https://wisconsinwatch.org/2023/03/dane-county-election-review-finds-dozens-of-ineligible-voters-who-cast-ballots/)


Everyone interested in secure elections knows this truth, stated so well by the lead opinion in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board:

“Confidence in the integrity of our electoral processes is essential to the functioning of our participatory democracy. Voter fraud drives honest citizens out of the democratic process and breeds distrust of our government.”

Knowing something and doing something are two separate sides of a coin, and all of the above successes share one common characteristic. In each case, an individual was willing to take up the cause and enter the battle. When struggling for election integrity, the actions may require various approaches. Whether we're engaging in public discourse or making financial contributions, whether we're educating others and our legislators or crafting and filing lawsuits, each step moves us closer to the goal of an improved government and preserved citizen rights.


 

You are invited to join MFE's Zoom at Noon on Thursdays. Members only. Sorry, no press.



 

The State of Minnesota passed laws that prohibited candidates running for judicial offices from announcing their views on disputed legal or political issues. The U.S. Supreme Court held that Minnesota could not violate these candidates’ first amendment free speech rights, and the judicial candidates prevailed. Republican Party of Minnesota v. White :: 536 U.S. 765 (2002) :: Justia US Supreme Court Center


Minnesota’s Secretary of State initiated an on-line voter registration system. The court ruled the SOS had to discontinue the legally unauthorized system. Order-62CV137718-20140428.pdf (mncourts.gov)


With voter rolls that needed purging due to numerous ineligible voters remaining on the rolls, Judicial Watch sued the State of Colorado and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. After facing this lawsuit, Colorado’s Secretary of State agreed to clean up the voter rolls and to provide Judicial Watch with information for five years to prove the cleanup was being done.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania removed 178,258 ineligible registrants from its rolls after Judicial Watch filed a lawsuit. The Commonwealth will report to its efforts to Judicial Watch for the next five years. The Commonwealth paid – from taxpayer dollars -- $15,000 to Judicial Watch for legal costs.


An investigation of Dane County revealed that over 300 court-adjudicated ineligible wards cast ballots illegally after an individual filed an administrative complaint. (https://wisconsinwatch.org/2023/03/dane-county-election-review-finds-dozens-of-ineligible-voters-who-cast-ballots/)


The lead opinion in Crawford v. Marion County Election Board stated a truth that everyone interested in secure elections knows. “Confidence in the integrity of our electoral processes is essential to the functioning of our participatory democracy. Voter fraud drives honest citizens out of the democratic process and breeds distrust of our government.”


However, knowing something is different from doing something.


What do all of the successes have in common? Each had an individual willing to take up the cause, to enter the battle. A battle is the only way to achieve election integrity success: whether the battle takes place through public discourse or a financial contribution, through educating our legislators or filiing lawsuits.


Elizabeth Ayoub started her career working for an international company, transitioned into teaching French and Latin while her children were young, and then became a Michigan attorney. She resides in St. Johns.


 

Michigan Fair Elections is a fiercely independent, tax-exempt 501(c)3 charity. We are operated entirely by unpaid volunteers. We perform no contract work. We accept no government funds—not one penny. But we depend on voluntary contributions to fund our important work.


Please support MFE's investigative research, honest journalism, and litigative actions to defend We the People's inalienable rights as protected in the U.S. Constitution. Donate today to assist our educational efforts to protect the principles of individual liberty in America.






 

Calendar of Events:


Citizen Research Project | Ned Jones, EIN

  • Every Tuesday at 6 p.m. (ET)

  • Election Technology | Jim Womack, NCEIT

  • Introduction to Election Integrity Infrastructure | Kerri Toloczko and Ned Jones, EIN

  • Vote By Mail / USPS | Ned Jones, EIN

  • Legislative Development | Kathleen Harms, TN

  • Ranked Choice Voting | Melody Clarke, EIN

  • Voter Roll Maintenance | Cleta Mitchell, EIN

  • Vulnerable Voters | Kerri Toloczko, EIN

    • Every 2nd and 4th Tuesday at 4 p.m. (ET)

    • Kerri Toloczko: Join us on Tuesday, September 12th when we continue to discuss the importance of protecting minority voters through our Vulnerable Voters calls.

  • Media Training | Kerri Toloczko, EIN





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