MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — State leaders are now urging voters to no longer use the postal service to send in their ballots. A federal court ruling has left the door open for ballots received after Election Night not to be counted.

Gov. Tim Walz and Secretary of State Steve Simon recommend voting in person early or on Election Day, or dropping off mail-in ballots in person.

Ballots that come in after 8 p.m. Tuesday will be segregated, and a final order on whether to count them can come later.

“Will these be Republican ballots [arriving past the deadline] or Democratic ballots? We just don’t know the answer to that question,” said Larry Jacobs, a politics professor at the University of Minnesota. “It’s possible that these judicial decisions may hurt Republicans as much as Democrats.”

Michael Stalberger, the elections administrator in Blue Earth County, says he’s still waiting for word on what to do with the ballots that arrive past the deadline.

“There’s confusion as to whether or not we’re actually counting them then removing them from the results, or holding them in a pool, or quarantine, where we’re going to process them after the court rules,” he said.

Voters worried about ballots they already mailed can go vote in person to override the mailed ballot. By the same token, voters who have had mail-in or absentee ballots accepted will not be allowed to vote in person.

Each voter in Minnesota has an ID that can only be used once, so no one can have two ballots counted.

For information on where to vote early, click here. To track the status of an absentee ballot, click here.

David Schuman

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