Minnesota seniors file legal challenge against absentee voting rules

Published 8:00 pm Friday, May 15, 2020

ST. PAUL — A group of Minnesota seniors is joining their counterparts in at least four other states by legally challenging their state’s absentee voting rules amid the coronavirus outbreak.

A lawsuit filed by the Minnesota Alliance for Retired Americans Educational Fund in Ramsey County District Court seeks to stop the state from requiring a witness signature on mail-in ballots, as well as a postmark deadline.

The plaintiffs said because they are self-quarantined, seeking a signature from a witness could put them at risk of contracting COVID-19, the Star Tribune reported.

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Also, the seniors said the U.S. Postal Service may not be able to deliver mail-in ballots on time if there is a dramatic increase in absentee voting this fall.

The lawsuit follows similar legal actions by Alliance for Retired Americans chapters in Florida, Pennsylvania, Texas and Wisconsin.

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon’s office declined to comment on the litigation.

The lawsuit comes a day after Gov. Tim Walz signed a $17 million elections assistance package into law which is aimed at helping state and local election workers carry out the Aug. 11 primary and Nov. 3 general elections.

Absent from the bill was a measure Walz, Simon and Democrats had wanted — universal mail-in voting for the two elections.