Court order segregating Minnesota ballots that arrive late could signal more trouble on Election Day
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit's decision to separate late-arriving ballots casts doubt on whether or not late-arriving ballots will even be counted and signals the revival of Minnesota's Election Day deadline unraveling the seven-day extension that the state agreed to uphold in a separate state court case.
For the 2020 election, Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon initially agreed to a deal with two voter groups in state court. Under that deal, they were ballots were supposed to be accepted up to seven days after the November 3 election date as long as they were postmarked prior to that date. Republicans, subsequently, challenged that rule, according to KARE9.
"However well-intentioned and appropriate from a policy perspective in the context of a pandemic during a presidential election, it is not the province of a state executive official to re-write the state's election code, at least as it pertains to selection of presidential electors," the order reads.
The publication goes on to break down the meaning of the latest abrupt change:
"This would mean if you have a mail-in ballot, you must drop it off at your designated location or you can vote in-person through early voting or vote in-person on Election Day. If you are returning a mail-in ballot in-person on Election Day it must be dropped off no later than 3 p.m."
Simon also released a statement admitting the order is a "tremendous and unnecessary disruption to Minnesota's election." Now, he is hoping to make sure voters are aware of the changes, which could greatly impact the outcome of the state's election results.
In the wake of the latest order, Democratic leaders are urging voters refrain from mailing in ballots at this late date because there is no guarantee they will arrive on time with just four days until the election.
On Thursday, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) took to Twitter with a warning for the residents in her state. She tweeted, "Because of LAST MINUTE ruling, Minnesota DO NOT put ballots in mail any more.
Klobuchar added, "In the middle of a pandemic, the Republican Party is doing everything to make it hard for you to vote. Stand up for YOUR rights: Vote in-person or take mail-in ballot directly to ballot box."
BREAKING: Because of LAST MINUTE ruling, Minnesota DO NOT put ballots in mail any more. In the middle of a pandemi… https://t.co/QdsDXnirPE— Amy Klobuchar (@Amy Klobuchar)1604011536.0
It is now recommended that Minnesota voters mail-in ballots in-person by 8:00p.m. on Tuesday, November 3, 2020. All ballots received after that time will be separated.
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