Federal judge upholds Minnesota’s extended ballot counting

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FILE – In this July 29, 2020, file photo, Lisa Finander, right, checks that each ballot has the voter’s name on the ballot and mailing envelope and Laurie Mattila, left, checked that it was correct at Minneapolis Elections & Voter Services in Minneapolis. A federal judge has upheld a state court agreement that extends Minnesota’s deadline for counting absentee ballots by seven days. Republicans had asked U.S. District Judge Nancy Brasel to block the seven-day extension that Democratic Secretary of State Steve Simon agreed to in state court after a citizens’ rights group cited concerns about voter safety due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But Brasel ruled late Sunday, Oct. 11, 2020, that the plaintiffs in the case — a pair of Republicans serving as electors in the presidential election — don’t have standing and denied their motion for a preliminary injunction.(Glen Stubbe/Star Tribune via AP, File)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – A federal judge has upheld a Minnesota state court agreement that allows counting of absentee ballots received up to seven days after Election Day as long as they are postmarked by Election Day.

U.S. District Judge Nancy Brasel ruled late Sunday night that the plaintiffs in the case don’t have standing and denied their motion for a preliminary injunction. Republicans had gone to court to block the extension.

Democratic Secretary of State Steve Simon agreed to extend the ballot deadline after a citizens’ rights group cited voter safety concerns due to the coronavirus.

Republicans argued the extension violates federal law that sets Nov. 3 as Election Day. It was not immediately clear if they would appeal.

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