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Federal judge upholds Minnesota absentee ballot extension

A federal judge Sunday night upheld an agreement that extends Minnesota’s absentee ballot counting deadline by seven days, dealing a blow to Republicans, The Associated Press reported on Monday.

In Minnesota, ballots traditionally need to be in by 8 p.m. on Election Day. With the new ruling, ballots postmarked on or before Election Day may still be counted as long as they are received within the seven-day period.

The extension was initially granted by Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon (D) in state court amid mounting concerns over voter safety during the coronavirus pandemic.

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“I am committed to protecting and strengthening the security and fairness of our elections process,” Simon said in a statement.

State Rep. Eric Lucero (R) and Ramsey County GOP activist James Carson called on U.S. District Judge Nancy Brasel, a Trump appointee, to rule that the extension was a violation of federal law, which establishes Nov. 3 as the 2020 election date, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Under Brasel's ruling, the seven-day extension will remain in place.

A federal judge Sunday night upheld an agreement that extends Minnesota’s absentee ballot counting deadline by seven days, dealing a blow to Republicans, The Associated Press reported on Monday.

In Minnesota, ballots traditionally need to be in by 8 p.m. on Election Day. With the new ruling, ballots postmarked on or before Election Day may still be counted as long as they are received within the seven-day period.

The extension was initially granted by Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon (D) in state court amid mounting concerns over voter safety during the coronavirus pandemic.

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“I am committed to protecting and strengthening the security and fairness of our elections process,” Simon said in a statement.

State Rep. Eric Lucero (R) and Ramsey County GOP activist James Carson called on U.S. District Judge Nancy Brasel, a Trump appointee, to rule that the extension was a violation of federal law, which establishes Nov. 3 as the 2020 election date, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Under Brasel's ruling, the seven-day extension will remain in place.

Democratic nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts MORE has a 9.4 percentage point lead over Trump in Minnesota, according to a RealClearPolitics average of state polls. The Trump campaign last month said it was going "all in" to win Minnesota in November.

Trump lost Minnesota in 2016 by just 1.5 percentage points.

Updated at 11:01 a.m.