His comments to local news network WCCO came amid confusion in the state regarding mail-in ballots after a federal judge appeals court ruled on Oct. 29 that all Minnesota absentee ballots arriving after Nov. 3 must be separated from other ballots and may not be counted at all, depending on future court proceedings.
“I believe if there are close races there will be lawsuits on either side to make sure those ballots are in fact counted but we should never have to be in that position,” Martin told WCCO.
Minnesota GOP Chair Jennifer Carnahan also said during a Sunday appearance on WCCO that she was “certain there is going to be some follow-up after November 3.”
“I am certain there is going to be some follow-up after November 3, but in the meantime, if folks have a ballot go in and return it in person and cast your ballot,” she told the network.
The Oct. 29 ruling added a layer of confusion to a federal court’s Oct. 12 decision to extend the state’s deadline for counting absentee ballots seven days after Nov. 3 as long as ballots are postmarked on or before Election Day. Now, state officials are rushing to encourage voters not to send their absentee ballots by mail but to drop them off at ballot box locations on Nov. 3.
The battleground state is facing tight races between President Trump and 2020 Democratic nominee Joe Biden, as well as Democratic Sen. Tina Smith and Republican Senate candidate Jason Lewis. The DFL Party is also seeking control of the state legislature by flipping the state Senate while keeping control of the House and governor’s office.
Minnesota voters who believe they sent in their absentee ballots too late can vote in person on Election Day to ensure that their votes will be counted and their mail-in ballots will be discarded.