Minnesota Secretary Of State - Secretary Simon Releases Statement Following U.S. Court of Appeals Decision
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Secretary Simon Releases Statement Following U.S. Court of Appeals Decision

October 29, 2020

Secretary Simon released the following statement after the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit announced its decision to eliminate Minnesota's established seven-day grace period for accepting absentee ballots for next week’s general election:

“The court's decision is a tremendous and unnecessary disruption to Minnesota's election, just days before Election Day. This last-minute change could disenfranchise Minnesotans who were relying on settled rules for the 2020 election — rules that were in place before the August 11 primary and were accepted by all political parties. It is deeply troubling that the people who brought the lawsuit, a conservative legislator and presidential elector, would seek to sabotage the system for political gain.

I won’t let any Minnesota voter be silenced. My mission is now to make sure all voters know that a federal court has suddenly changed the rules, and that their ballot needs to be received by Election Day.

The right to vote is fundamental. The court’s decision is a step in the direction of restricting the exercise of that right, during a pandemic that has altered everything about our daily lives. But Minnesotans always find a way to vote, and they’ll do so again this year. The spirit that has fueled Minnesota's nation-leading voter turnout will continue.”

Next Steps for Voters

Voters should no longer place their absentee ballot in the mail. Instead, voters have several options to ensure their vote is counted in the November general election:

  • Voters who have already put their ballot in the mail can track their ballot at http://www.mnvotes.org/track. If their ballot has not yet been received the voter can vote in-person either by absentee, or at their polling place on Election Day.
  • Voters can deliver their ballots to their county election office by hand (or have someone they trust hand-deliver it for them).
  • Voters can cast their vote in person with an absentee ballot at their local election office up until November 2, 2020.
  • Voters can cast their votes in person on Election Day. Use our Pollfinder Tool to find out where to vote.