(AmericanPoliticalDaily.com)- Election officials in Minnesota have announced they will count ballots after Election Day, even if they are not postmarked by November 3.
That move is being challenged by Republicans. James Carson, a Republican elector, as well as Republican state representative Eric Lucero filed a lawsuit on Tuesday that challenged this decision. The decision was handed down by Steve Simon, Minnesota’s secretary of state. Ballots that are received as late as eight days after Election Day are to be counted under his rule.
The lawsuit says this violates the U.S. Constitution because it moves the ballot deadline without getting approval from the state legislature. The suit claims it also violates federal law because it permits “ballots with no post mark and no evidence of having been case on November 3” to be counted.
The lawsuit reads:
“This means that persons in Minnesota may vote for days after Election Day and have their votes counted.”
This will likely lead to disputed election results as well as disenfranchised voters. The lawsuit says it’s possible that Minnesota’s vote totals could be rejected in their entirety because of Simon’s decree.
According to the decree, if the ballot isn’t postmarked, “the election official reviewing the ballot should presume that it was mailed on or before Election Day unless the preponderance demonstrates it was mailed after Election Day.” Simon said this gives voters in Minnesota “an automatic seven-day cushion.”
The non-partisan election integrity group, Honest Elections Project, has supported the lawsuit. Jason Snead, the organization’s executive director, recently told the Washington Free Beacon that Simon’s rule could actually incentivize people to vote illegally. He said:
“You wind up with these ballots that arrive potentially many days after the election. They could be the decisive ballots. But there’s absolutely no proof that they were cast validly on Election Day. And when you consider what’s at stake here, not only does that amplify the need for us to have clear outcomes, it also amplifies the incentive to try to gin up a few extra ballots after the fact if you see that your candidate is losing.
“Even if that’s not going to happen, the mere fact that it is possible risks casting doubt on the result.”
Minnesota has joined 16 states that are permitting mail-in ballots to arrive after November 3 and still be counted for this year only. The battleground states of Ohio, Virginia, North Carolina, Texas and Pennsylvania are included in that list.
But Minnesota is the only state that will allow ballots that don’t have a postmark to be counted. In West Virginia, ballots with no postmarks can be counted, but only until one day after Election Day — not eight.
The fight in Minnesota is just the latest in the ongoing battle between Republicans and Democrats throughout the country about the upcoming presidential election. In addition to it being a hotly-contested election, the fact that it’s being held in a pandemic is adding fuel to the fire, and drumming up more fights.