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Maslon Attorney Successfully Represents the ACLU of Minnesota in Voter Registration Case

May 1, 2014

Maslon attorney Bill Pentelovitch successfully advocated for protection of the rights of more than 3,600 voters who registered to vote using the Minnesota Secretary of State's online voter registration system. 

Bill represented the American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota as amicus curiae before the Ramsey County District Court in a case which challenged the right of the Secretary of State to create an online voter registration tool without explicit legislative authorization. Although he took no position on the merits of the claim that the Secretary of State exceeded his authority, Bill argued that if the Court found that the Secretary of State was not authorized to create the online registration tool Minnesota voters who registered online should not have their registrations to vote voided.

On April 28, 2014, the Ramsey County District Court ruled that the Secretary of State did not have the statutory authority to adopt an online voter registration system and ordered the system shut down. However, the Court adopted the position advocated by Bill and refused to invalidate the voter registration of those voters who had already registered online. 

Two days after the Ramsey County District Court's decision and just hours before the court-ordered deadline for the Secretary of State to shut down the online registration portal, Governor Mark Dayton signed legislation granting the Secretary of State the statutory authority to continue operating the online voter registration system. 

Bill Pentelovitch is a partner in Maslon's Litigation Group. He is a trial lawyer and Fellow of the International Academy of Trial lawyers, has practiced exclusively in the area of business-related disputes for 39 years and is considered both a leading authority and a leading trial lawyer in Minnesota in the area of ownership and governance disputes in corporations, partnerships of all kinds, and limited liability companies. In addition to his substantial practice in the areas of business ownership and governance and non-competes, trade secrets, and unfair competition, Bill handles breach of contract, fraud, antitrust, securities, banking, and intellectual property trials.


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