Skip to main content

Appeals court changes rules for MN absentee ballots received after Election Day

Pending a further challenge, votes received after 8 p.m. on Election Day may not be counted.

With just five days to go before Election Day, a court has reversed Minnesota's rule that allows absentee ballots to be counted up to a week later.

The rule allowing ballots to be counted up to 7 days after Nov. 3 provided they were mailed by Election Day was approved by Secretary of State Steve Simon earlier this year, after a suit was filed by citizen groups seeking to ease mail-in voting requirements amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

But this was challenged by two Republicans last month, and the Eight Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in their favor on Thursday afternoon

It means that any absentee ballots that arrive after the 8 p.m. cutoff on Nov. 3 will be set aside and preserved in the event of a legal challenge that rules they're ultimately allowed, but the judges on the appeals court panel said that this was unlikely.

However, in the complicated 2-1 ruling, even if the late-arriving votes are not allowed, the ruling suggests this may only apply to the presidential election, and congressional, state, or local votes may still count.

In any case, anyone who has mailed in their ballots in the past few days, or who had planned to mail their vote in the coming days, should now plan to vote in person, or submit your absentee ballot at a drop-off location, or your county elections office. That's because the USPS has advised they can't guarantee votes will arrive on time as of Tuesday.

If you have already mailed your ballot, you can check its status here. If it has not yet been accepted, you can vote early in person at your county elections office, at one of the early voting sites across Minnesota, or at your polling place on Election Day. More information here.

The extended deadline was put in place due to concern over COVID-19, and its reversal following the GOP challenge comes at a time of record COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in Minnesota.

Republicans have been making similar efforts in other states, including in Wisconsin, with data showing more Democrats were likely to vote by mail because of the pandemic.

Follow Bring Me The News on News Break

Next Up

Kellace McDaniel

Kellace McDaniel named Brooklyn Center police chief

McDaniel will officially begin his new job on Monday, June 27.

Thompson Lake, West St Paul

Twin Cities lake reopens following toilet waste spill

About 70,000 gallons of sewage spilled into the lake in mid-May.

Lake Sturgeon

MN lake sturgeon spawning event marks first of its kind in over a century

Conservationists celebrate a huge milestone for the living fossil of the fish world.

Parking lot of Plymouth Target

Police: 18-year-old woman carjacked outside Plymouth Target

The armed carjacking occurred just before 10 p.m. in the parking lot Wednesday.

PennLakeNotes

St. Paul man pleads guilty to robbing Penn Lake Roast Beef, shooting owner

Devon Dwyane Reginald Glover, 22, shot Kevan Tran during the June 2020 robbery.

James Robert Hess.

Charges: Man shot brother in the eye, let his body decompose in camper

James Robert Hess faces second-degree murder charges for the shooting death of his brother, William Harold Hess Jr.

Christopher Payne and Kaley Wethern

Coupled charged after $75k worth of fentanyl pills seized during traffic stop

Christopher James Payne and Kaley Maria Wethern have been charged in the seizure.

Screen Shot 2022-05-25 at 9.34.43 AM

Video: Plane with blown tire makes emergency landing at MSP Airport

An aviation enthusiast caught the moment on video.

Related

ballot voting vote

Republicans unsuccessful in attempt to suspend Wisconsin absentee voting rule

The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals declined Republicans' request on Wednesday, a day after the federal court granted an extension to count absentee ballots.

drop and go ballot plymouth

It's too late to mail your ballot, but you can still vote. Here's how.

Voters can drop off their absentee ballot, vote early in-person or head to the polls on Election Day.

49615333397_25286fd78b_k

What to expect when the polls close on Election Day

It's not likely to be your typical Election Day.

ballot voting vote

Judge upholds Minnesota's 7-day extension for mail-in ballots

Mail-in ballots received within seven days of the election will be counted so long as they're postmarked by Election Day (Nov. 3).

MN Supreme Court rejects voter's effort to change GOP ballot

The Lake Elmo Republican had sued because President Trump is the only name on the ballot.

Get that absentee ballot mailed back in if you haven't yet

That ballot needs to be in by Election Day, or it won't count.

voting

Minnesota waives requirement for absentee ballot witnesses in primary

The Minnesota SOS has waived the witness requirement and will count ballots postmarked received 2 days after the primary.

CraigKistner

After court rejection, Kistner appeals to SCOTUS to postpone CD2 election

Republican Tyler Kistner, challenging Democrat Rep. Angie Craig in CD2, is pushing to postpone the election after the death of a third party candidate