Mower County Auditor/Treasurer Scott Felten reported that late on Thursday, Oct. 29, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit overruled the state approved consent decree that had extended the deadline in Minnesota for receiving and accepting absentee and mail ballots as long as they were postmarked by Nov. 3 and received by election officials by Nov. 10. The Court of Appeals ruling now means absentee and mail ballots must be received by Nov. 3, Election Day, in order to be counted. Absentee ballots must be received no later than 3 pm on Nov. 3 and mail ballots must be received by 8 pm on Nov. 3 at county election offices.
Felten stated that as a result, Minnesota voters should not mail their absentee or mail ballot to their elections office if they are still holding their ballot.
Voters in Mower County have several options to ensure their vote is counted in the November general election:
The Mower County Elections Office is located at 500 4th Ave. NE in Austin City Hall, which is across the street from the new Austin YMCA and Rec Center. Voters can also call the elections office at 507-437-9535 or 507-437-9456. Callers are asked to be patient as the elections office is experiencing large numbers of phone calls and people absentee voting.
Felten stated that through Oct. 29, about 58% of Mower County registered voters had either requested an absentee ballot or were sent a ballot because they live in a mail balloting precinct.