DFL caucus, conventions open to ineligible voters
Those convicted of a felony and on probation, immigrants who are not U.S. citizens and others who are not eligible to vote can participate in caucuses at the Minnesota DFL precinct on Tuesday.
“No Minnesotan should be denied the right to help shape the future of our party because of where they were born or because of mistakes they made in the past and for which they paid their debt to society,” DFL party chairman Ken Martin said.
Democrats announced Wednesday that ineligible voters can run to become convention delegates, vote on endorsements, seek party leadership and present resolutions.
The DFL had claimed in a lawsuit that limiting participation in precinct caucuses to eligible voters violated First Amendment rights. The Minnesota Court of Appeals recently upheld a district court’s dismissal of the case, saying criminal penalties for illegal voting “do not apply to voting in constituency caucuses” and that it does not there is no credible threat that anyone will be prosecuted.
Martin said the court’s decision gave them a “legal safe harbor” to open the caucuses.
But the Minnesota GOP leadership said the LDF violated state law.
“Citizenship is the foundation of the civic compact. By rejecting citizenship, the DFL has rejected the foundation of our democratic republic,” Republican Party Chairman David Hann said.