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Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - Olmsted County is among the local governmental entities facing legal action over the use of county employees as members of the absentee ballot review board for the upcoming elections.

The Minnesota Voters Alliance and the Minnesota Republican Party were joined late last week by Republican State Representative Duane Quam and several election judges in filing a petition with Olmsted County Court requesting an order requiring county election officials to follow state law for the appointment of members to the board. The court filing contends the county is in violation of a state election law enacted after the court battles that followed the 2010 U.S. Senate election in Minnesota.

The lawsuit argues the county has improperly appointed the staff of its licensing and public records department as deputy county auditors and to act as the ballot review board. It also contends the county has not met a requirement to maintain a balance of major political party affiliation among the members of the ballot review board by failing to document their affiliation or non-affiliation.

Similar lawsuits have been filed against election officials in the Twin Cities and Duluth. It's possible the four cases could be combined and assigned to a single judge for an expedited resolution.

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