August 18, 2020
Trump Campaign and Republican Party Will Not Appeal Minnesota Voting Rights Settlement
Voters Can Vote by Mail Without a Witness Signature;
Receipt Deadline Extended by One Week
ST. PAUL, MN – The Republican National Committee and the Trump for President campaign today agreed not to appeal a settlement reached by the Alliance for Retired Americans and the State of Minnesota to waive burdensome requirements for voting by mail in the November 2020 general election.
“This is an enormous victory for all Minnesota voters. Older voters especially can now be confident that they can protect their health, vote by mail and know that their vote will actually be counted. Hats off to our Minnesota members who stepped up to make voting as safe and secure as possible,” said Richard Fiesta, executive director of the national Alliance for Retired Americans.
“I am relieved and elated that this issue is finally resolved and I will be able to exercise my constitutional right to vote without putting my health at risk,” said Teresa Maples of Red Wing, a plaintiff, a member of the Minnesota Alliance for Retired Americans and a registered voter in Goodhue County. “There is no way my serious health conditions would allow me to vote in person during this pandemic, and I live alone. Knowing I can vote by mail without having to find someone to witness my ballot, or worry that my ballot may not arrive on time regardless of when I mail it, is a relief.”
On August 13 the Secretary of State agreed to two demands by the Minnesota Alliance and its members for the November 3 General Election:
- All mail ballots from registered voters will be accepted without requiring that another registered voter or a notary witness and sign the return envelope; and
- Ballots received within seven days after the November 3 Election Day will be accepted, as long as they are postmarked by Election Day.
The plaintiffs included the Minnesota Alliance for Retired Americans Educational Fund, three Minnesota Alliance members and an individual plaintiff. The suit was supported by the National Redistricting Foundation and includes one other individual plaintiff. A copy of the stipulation is available here.
“There are 700,000 seniors registered to vote in Minnesota who are among the most at-risk from COVID-19,” said Michael Madden, President of the Minnesota Alliance. “They can now rest assured that they can protect their vote and participate in the November election.”
In addition to Ms. Maples, the plaintiffs include Minnesota Alliance members Gary Severson of Chaska, Minnesota and Mary Samson of Newport, Minnesota.
The Alliance for Retired Americans, working with its state chapters, has filed lawsuits to protect vote by mail and absentee voters in Florida, Maine, Michigan, North Carolina, Texas, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, in addition to Minnesota this year.
Mr. Fiesta is available for comment.
Please contact Lisa Cutler at 202-674-2052 or firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule an interview.