Commentary: Mail Voting and Election Legitimacy

Although it had been a feature of elections in some parts of the United States for years, the phenomenon of mail-ballot voting exploded in the 2020 election. In the midst of the COVID pandemic, jurisdictions around the country expanded use of mail voting, sometimes sending ballots to every registered voter. Steps were taken to facilitate ease of mail voting, such as establishing drop boxes for returned ballots, relaxing rules regarding signature verification, and easing restrictions on “ballot harvesting,” the practice whereby paid political activists collect a large number of completed ballots and return them for counting. As a result, by some estimates, the proportion of ballots cast by mail nearly doubled from 2016 to 2020.

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Appeals Court Orders Minnesota to Separate Mail-in Ballots That Arrive After Election Day

A federal appeals court ruled Thursday that mail-in ballots from Minnesota that arrive after Nov. 3 must be separated from those that are received on or before Election Day.

The ruling, which came from a three-judge panel from the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals, authorized a GOP challenge against Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon order extending the ballot deadline by seven days. Ballots received after Election Day should be separated, the ruling said, in order “to be removed from vote totals in the event a final order is entered by a court of competent jurisdiction determining such votes to be invalid or unlawfully counted.”

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