MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota will waive its witness requirements for absentee ballots for the August primary election under the settlement of two lawsuits sparked by the health threat from the coronavirus.
Secretary of State Steve Simon reached the settlements in lawsuits by the League of Women Voters of Minnesota and the Minnesota Alliance for Retired Americans. Ballots received within two days of the Aug. 11 primary will be accepted if they’re postmarked by Election Day.
A state judge signed off on the decree with the retirees Wednesday. A federal judge set a hearing for Thursday on the league’s case.
Republican Party of Minnesota Chairwoman Jennifer Carnahan released the following statement on the settlement:
"This week, Secretary of State Steve Simon took a page out of Governor Walz's playbook by subverting the legislative process to manipulate Minnesota election law to benefit the Democrats. In one case, the judge ordered a fairness hearing to determine third parties are not unreasonably impacted; and in the other, the judge signed off on this misuse of power by Secretary Simon and the Democrats."
"There is a reason a witness signature is required when voting by absentee ballot - to prevent fraud. It is unconscionable that Secretary Simon and Governor Walz have chosen to go around the legislature - which is currently in session - to change a law that will remove these necessary safeguards, opening up our elections to rampant fraud in our upcoming election."
"Our Founding Fathers put in protections to ensure the executive branch does not abuse power and go around the legislative process. It is disappointing (but not surprising) that Walz, Simon, and Minnesota Democrats are willing to use their power to give their party the upper hand in elections."