Democratic-NPL admonishes frivolous lawsuit, raises call to protect the right to vote

The lawsuit filed by Burleigh County Auditor Mark Splonskowski at the request of the Public Interest Legal Foundation is raising eyebrows and questions as North Dakotans learn more about it.

The lawsuit contends that North Dakota law, which requires absentee and mail-in ballots to be postmarked by the day before election day, violates federal election law. Rural voters and military members stationed overseas rely on mail-in and absentee voting; if this lawsuit were successful it could disenfranchise those voters.

Public Interest Legal Foundation is a right-wing group with many board members who deny the 2020 election results. Its board includes Cleta Mitchell advised former president Trump on the famed 2020 call where he pushed Georgia officials to “find” enough ballots to swing the presidential election in his favor. Mitchell was asked to resign from her law firm after that call. Mitchell is associated with other “dark money” groups, who’ve worked to spread false information about the 2020 election.

The Associated Press reported that the foundation reached out to Splonskowski to file the lawsuit, the article went on to say, “An election law expert says the Public Interest Legal Foundation appeared to be ‘court-shopping’ for a conservative circuit with its case, which seeks an injunction against the election director for enforcing the state’s laws.”

Democratic-NPL Chair Adam Goldwyn said, “It certainly appears as if the Burleigh County auditor is being used by out-of-state extremists to erode North Dakotans’ right to vote. That the current right-wing groups and the North Dakota Republican Party won’t even stand up for the defining aspect of American democracy shows just how far they’ve fallen from the nation our Founders imagined and which we have sought to preserve. The North Dakota Democratic-NPL has always stood for the right to vote and have that vote counted, and always will.”

House Minority Leader Zac Ista remarked, “In 2022, my race went to an automatic recount, so I got to witness our state’s election processes up close. Having done so, I am more confident than ever that our elections are run with integrity and that North Dakotans can have complete faith in their outcomes. Frivolous lawsuits like this only sew division where none ought to exist.”