The Minnesota Supreme Court denied a request by former 2nd Congressional District candidate Tyler Kistner as well as a host of other failed candidates and current Republican lawmakers to temporarily halt certification of the state’s general election results and conduct a statewide recount stemming from challenges over the suspension of witness requirements for absentee and mail in ballots and other suggestions of “vote count anomalies.”
The petition was filed on Nov. 24, three weeks after the 2020 election and just hours before the state canvassing board met to certify the results.
In a ruling signed Dec. 4 by Chief Justice Lorie Gildea, the high court denied the request on the grounds it was improperly served to respondents and that a recount would be overly burdensome and “cast an unacceptable degree of uncertainty over the election.”
Kistner lost to incumbent DFLer Angie Craig in the Nov. 3 election. The race was mired in controversy following the death of a third-party candidate Adam Weeks in September, after early voting had already begun. The rural Red Wing man's death triggered a 2013 state law that said the contest would be decided in a special election in February 2021.
Craig sued Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon to force the state to proceed with the Nov. 3 election for the district. A federal judge granted a preliminary injunction in the lawsuit and said the election would go on as scheduled. Kistner appealed the decision, but an appeals court declined to postpone the election. The U.S. Supreme Court also denied Kistner’s appeal.
The Nov. 24 filing refers to the state’s use of voting machines from Dominion Voting Systems, which has been the target of baseless allegations of election fraud nationwide.
“Minnesota has many areas that use these machines. There are many examples of similar vote count anomalies in Minnesota as well as issues with systems being down or experiencing unexplained ‘glitches’ during the night allowing for the alteration of vote counts,” petitioners alleged.
Among the petitioners were members of the “New Republicans” caucus, including District 21B Rep. Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, who handily defeated Democratic challenger Elise Diesslin in November.