Court of Appeals Rules Minnesota Absentee Ballots Must be Received by 8 p.m. on Election Day

The Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled that absentee ballots in Minnesota must be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day in order to be counted.

This means election workers will not be able to count ballots that are received after Election Day. Instead, they’ll be forced to set aside those ballots in case a court later allows them to count.

This election, Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon had announced an extension to the deadline so that ballots received up to seven days after Election Day would be accepted as long as they were postmarked on Nov. 3. However, this ruling invalidates that extension.

“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,” read the order.

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.

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