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Monday, December 19, 2005 

The N-Ek-t Step

So, Sue Ek is off the ballot and it's very, very unclear whether the GOP will be able to put another candidate on. Tomorrow marks one week from the election, so between the legal uncertainly and the time it will take to resolve it, I'll guess that Larry Haws will be unopposed on the ballot next Tuesday, and I'm nearly certain that he'll win in a landslide regardless.

The next question is whether Sue Ek will face criminal charges for her actions in this electoral fiasco. I'm no lawyer - obviously - but this blogger would be mightily surprised if Sue Ek was not in danger of being charged with - and is probably guilty of - at least one count of fraud. According to the SOS:
"An individual who intentionally violates any provision of [the electoral laws] is guilty of a felony, unless a different penalty is specifically provided by law." (Minnesota Statutes 201.27, subdivision 3).
One imagines that were Ek to be charged, the case would largely if not totally hinge on whether it could be proven that Ek intentionally committed electoral fraud. I don't have the time to do research (it's still finals week, after all), but I wouldn't be surprised if there were other laws dealing with the offense whether it was committed intentionally or unintentionally.

I don't know; like I said, I'm not a lawyer. It would be great if somebody else did some research on this. All I'm saying is that this is a BIG deal. Sue Ek ran in a district in which she was not a resident, and that's illegal. At best, it was gross negligence, and at worst it was a purposeful attempt to defraud the voters of St. Cloud. I'd ask Janelle Kendall, the Stearns county prosecutor, to investigate this situation. It's important.

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