Federal court says late MN absentee ballots should be kept separate

Decision pertains to any future legal fight over such ballots.

Posted: Oct 29, 2020 6:43 PM
Updated: Oct 29, 2020 7:03 PM

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said Minnesota’s absentee ballots that come in after Election Day should be separated from the rest of the ballots, in case a future order makes those votes invalid.

Thursday's ruling doesn’t block Minnesota’s seven-day extension for counting absentee ballots — but it does order a lower court to issue a ruling that would keep the late arriving ballots separate.

Republicans had argued that the extension — which had been approved in both state and federal courts due to the COVID-19 pandemic — violated federal law that establishes Nov. 3 as the date of the 2020 election. Democrats said eliminating the extension would create voter confusion.

Republican Party of Minnesota Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan released the following statement:

"We applaud the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals for upholding the integrity of the election and affirming Election Day as November 3rd."

"The pandemic has caused upheaval in many areas of life but hiding behind the pandemic to manipulate the election process is not democratic, and we appreciate that our laws and interpretation of those laws matter."

"The Republican Party of Minnesota encourages Minnesotans to either vote absentee in person or vote in person on Election Day. Nobody should be disenfranchised because of the Democrats unconstitutional actions."

DFL Party Chairman Ken Martin released the following statement on Thursday’s ruling from the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals:

“Today’s ruling by the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals is an attack on democracy brought about by a Republican Party desperate to stifle the voices of Minnesotans across our state. This absurd and misguided opinion will toss out the rules that have been in place since before voting began in September. Now, with just five days before election day, and Republicans surely heading for defeat at the polls, the Republican Party is responsible for potentially disenfranchising thousands of Minnesotans who were prepared to vote by mail in the coming days."

“I urge the people of Minnesota to return any outstanding mail-in ballots in-person as soon as possible. The reason the Republican Party is attacking your right to vote is because of the power of that vote to change our state and country. The Republicans are so desperate to win they are willing to trample on our most fundamental right as Americans - the right to vote. Despite their disgusting maneuvers, this ruling cannot and will not stop the people of Minnesota from holding Republicans accountable for failing us during this pandemic.”

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 684070

Reported Deaths: 8086
CountyCasesDeaths
Hennepin1407851856
Ramsey58714945
Dakota52269497
Anoka48192481
Washington30731309
Stearns24909240
St. Louis20363335
Scott19700145
Wright18589163
Olmsted15877110
Sherburne13539101
Carver1212252
Clay917195
Rice9129121
Blue Earth870147
Crow Wing7820102
Kandiyohi745189
Chisago715458
Otter Tail668393
Benton6472101
Mower560738
Winona556152
Goodhue551980
Douglas537484
Itasca519671
Beltrami508072
McLeod503263
Steele502921
Isanti492570
Morrison468363
Nobles449950
Becker436859
Polk435975
Freeborn430438
Lyon395154
Carlton391759
Nicollet378947
Pine375126
Mille Lacs355860
Brown347944
Cass345735
Le Sueur341729
Todd322634
Meeker305749
Waseca290125
Martin263533
Wabasha24364
Dodge24224
Roseau234023
Hubbard233041
Houston205416
Renville200248
Redwood199642
Fillmore196810
Pennington191121
Wadena185826
Faribault180825
Cottonwood177024
Sibley176710
Chippewa171539
Kanabec165029
Watonwan155311
Aitkin155238
Rock139519
Jackson134912
Pope13128
Yellow Medicine125320
Pipestone125026
Koochiching118119
Swift117619
Murray115510
Stevens115211
Marshall104118
Clearwater102618
Lake91321
Wilkin89714
Lac qui Parle84824
Mahnomen6909
Big Stone6854
Grant6848
Norman6549
Lincoln6524
Kittson53322
Unassigned53093
Red Lake4807
Traverse4255
Lake of the Woods3984
Cook2140

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 432122

Reported Deaths: 6339
CountyCasesDeaths
Polk67341672
Linn25698353
Scott22828261
Black Hawk19121334
Woodbury16940233
Johnson1659690
Dubuque14547218
Pottawattamie13058183
Dallas12746102
Story1187148
Warren685993
Webster6304102
Cerro Gordo6212102
Clinton620097
Des Moines594482
Muscatine5781108
Unassigned57410
Marshall564280
Sioux542775
Jasper516575
Lee511078
Wapello4993128
Buena Vista472942
Marion449083
Plymouth434083
Henry339940
Jones331158
Bremer325365
Crawford321644
Carroll317053
Washington315754
Benton312656
Boone308736
Mahaska275453
Dickinson270846
Kossuth251471
Jackson246044
Clay245729
Tama238273
Delaware234643
Buchanan233938
Hardin230847
Page221624
Cedar220525
Fayette220345
Wright217641
Winneshiek215937
Hamilton211752
Harrison198875
Clayton194458
Madison193820
Butler188836
Floyd187742
Mills185224
Poweshiek181036
Cherokee179440
Iowa176425
Allamakee176252
Lyon174441
Jefferson169138
Calhoun168313
Hancock167335
Winnebago164231
Grundy158835
Cass155556
Louisa154949
Shelby151739
Appanoose151249
Emmet149541
Franklin148524
Humboldt147226
Sac144722
Union144237
Mitchell141643
Guthrie138132
Chickasaw137518
Palo Alto131124
Clarke125024
Montgomery122239
Keokuk116232
Howard115622
Monroe114033
Ida107538
Davis103125
Pocahontas99023
Greene98012
Adair95334
Monona94733
Lucas94523
Worth9268
Osceola83717
Decatur74510
Fremont74111
Taylor72412
Van Buren70919
Wayne65123
Ringgold62226
Audubon58414
Adams3914
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