Election Day 2020 was one of the most closely watched political events of this generation — and most hotly disputed.
To prepare for an anticipated onslaught of post-election legal actions, the Office of the Minnesota Attorney General assembled a litigation team that ended up taking on an unprecedented number of election law cases in Minnesota related to the 2020 election.
“I’ve worked on elections since 2002, and this was the most challenging one I’ve worked on,” said Bibi Black, general counsel for the Office of Secretary of State. “The amount of litigation was unprecedented. Following other elections, we might have two or three cases. This time there were more than 20.”
Many of the cases the team took on were complex ones. They included a national action challenging changes to the U.S. Postal Service that could have slowed down processing of mail ballots, and state-specific cases that successfully defended the requirement that voters wear masks in polling places under existing executive orders.
The team actively litigated in both state and federal court, at both the district and appellate levels. The cases required the interpretation of state statutes, federal law, and state and federal constitutional law.
Black said that as of late December, the group still had about a dozen cases left to deal with. She gave credit to the AG’s office and election administration staff.
“They’ve been great about handling questions from counties and cities,” she said, “and our outreach and communications people were important in keeping the general public informed.”
Read more about Minnesota Lawyer’s superb class of Attorneys of the Year for 2020 here.
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