Federal Court Rules Minnesota Must Set Aside Ballots Received After Election Day
A federal appeals panel ruled Thursday that Minnesota must set aside ballots received after Election Day in case those ballots are invalidated, upending the state’s plans to keep counting ballots postmarked by Nov. 3 for another week.
- “The decision by a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit said a Republican lawmaker and GOP activist could challenge the state’s plans to keep counting ballots after the election,” The Washington Post reported.
- The judges also predicted a strong likelihood that Republicans would succeed in having ballots received after Election Day invalidated.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) urged constituents not to mail their ballots at all, tweeting: "Because of LAST MINUTE ruling, Minnesota DO NOT put ballots in mail any more....Vote in-person or take mail-in ballot directly to ballot box."
Under the ruling, Democrats warned that Minnesotans can only be sure the state can accept absentee ballots received by mail by 8 p.m. on Election Day — or before 3 p.m. if voters deliver them in person.
- Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon said previously that nearly 400,000 ballots had yet to be returned and a ruling against the state could disenfranchise an unknown number of Minnesota voters.
- Simon said Thursday: “My mission now is to make sure all voters know that a federal court has suddenly changed the rules, and that their ballots need to be received by Election Day.”
- The judges wrote in the opinion: “However well-intentioned and appropriate from a policy perspective in the context of a pandemic during a presidential election . . . there is no pandemic exception to the Constitution.”