County District Court File No. 62-CV-17-4692
G. Kaardal, Mohrman, Kaardal & Erickson, P.A.,
Minneapolis, Minnesota (for respondents)
Ellison, Attorney General, Nathan J. Hartshorn, Assistant
Attorney General, St. Paul, Minnesota (for appellants)
Considered and decided by Worke, Presiding Judge; Cleary,
Chief Judge; and Slieter, Judge.
the Minnesota Government Data Practices Act (MGDPA), Minn.
Stat. §§ 13.01-.90 (2018), and Minn. Stat. §
201.091 (2018), data on (1) registered voter status, (2)
reason for a challenge, and (3) voter history are public
challenge the district court's grant of summary judgment
to respondents, and denial of their summary-judgment motion,
on respondents' claim that appellants unlawfully refused
to disclose certain voter data that respondents requested
under the MGDPA. Because we conclude that the data requested
by respondents, and not produced by appellants, are public
data, we affirm.
Minnesota Voters Alliance's stated objective is to ensure
confidence in the integrity of Minnesota elections.
Respondent Andrew Cilek is its executive director
(respondents referred to collectively as "the
MVA"). On July 21, 2017, the MVA sent a letter to
appellants Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State and
Steve Simon in his official capacity as Minnesota Secretary
of State (appellants referred to collectively as "the
secretary of state") requesting access, pursuant to the
MGDPA, to "non-private government data"
"contained in the Statewide Voter Registration System
SVRS is the centralized voter registration database used by
the secretary of state and election officials to administer
elections in Minnesota. Minn. Stat. § 201.022 (2018).
The SVRS contains information on registered voters and
previously registered voters. Voter information includes:
name; voter ID number; address; date of birth; driver's
license number; phone number; email address; method by which
registration application was submitted; whether a request was
made to protect SVRS data from public disclosure due to
safety concerns; status (active, inactive, challenged, and
deceased); and voter history, including a list of prior
elections in which the voter cast a vote. The MVA requested:
Voter registration, status and voting history information on
every Minnesota voter, whether active, inactive or deleted
[for] whom the secretary of state maintains or has maintained
voter registration data from January 1, 2016, to present.
The information requested includes, but is not limited to the
following voter data:
• Voter ID #
• First middle and last names and any suffix
• Phone number (if ...