For two U.S. diplomats from St. Paul, Appeals Court ballot ruling may mean losing their vote | MinnPost

Four weeks ago, all four of them sent in their ballots. All of them have checked the Secretary of State’s website. And they’ve been in contact with Ramsey County.

Ramsey County doesn’t have their ballots.

All four of them contacted Ramsey County and sent new ballots via FedEx on Friday (they paid extra for expedited shipping). But even then, there’s no guarantee that the ballots will get there by Tuesday afternoon on Election Day.

The group’s situation may be unique, but is exemplary of the hurdles facing voters who thought they had a one week grace period to send in their ballot, as long as it was postmarked by Election Day. That grace period, established by a consent decree between the Minnesota Secretary of State and the Alliance of Retired Americans, was just disputed in a 2-1 decision by the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals on Friday after a legal challenge from Republicans in the state. The court ruled that now, all ballots received after Election Day must be separated and the legality of their acceptance, at least with respect to the presidential election, decided at a later date.

For Weber and Palmquist, the confusion so close to election day, and the lack of answers about where their ballot went, isn’t comforting.

“I represent the United States here,” said Palmquist. “I’m a diplomat representing the United States government. And for me to have questions about why my ballot is not being received or counted makes it harder to do my job.”

Source: For two U.S. diplomats from St. Paul, Appeals Court ballot ruling may mean losing their vote | MinnPost