Federal judges order post-Election Day ballots to be held
October 30, 2020
A federal court sided Thursday with a GOP challenge to Minnesota's extended deadline for receiving absentee ballots after Election Day, imperiling a state rule that would count mail-in ballots received up to a week after Tuesday's election.
In a 2-1 decision, a panel of the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judges ordered that all mail-in ballots received after 8 p.m. on Election Day be set aside, setting the stage for a potential legal battle after the election. But the order stopped short of a final determination on the validity of the post-Election Day ballots.
The ruling came in a case brought by Minnesota GOP presidential electors challenging a state rule allowing election officials to count ballots received until Nov. 10, as long as they are postmarked by Nov. 3. It is one of several Republican challenges to extended deadlines that were adopted in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and North Carolina in response to concerns about the pandemic and potential mail delays.