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Minnesota secretary of state: Federal agents not allowed at Minnesota polls without invitation

Plus: accepted early ballots top 1.7M; Trump’s chances in Minnesota; boosting Latino turnout; and more.

A voter marks his ballot during early voting in Minneapolis on September 18.
A voter marks his ballot during early voting in Minneapolis on September 18.
REUTERS/Julio-Cesar Chavez

Just another day in this totally normal election year. KARE’s Emily Haavik reports:The Department of Justice (DOJ) plans to send staff to Minneapolis to monitor voting compliance, but Minnesota’s Secretary of State said those agents will not be allowed into polling places without an invitation. … The DOJ announced Monday that it will monitor compliance with federal voting rights laws on Election Day in 44 jurisdictions, including Minneapolis. … Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon said on a briefing with reporters Monday morning that he had just learned of the DOJ’s plans.”

That is a lot of early votes. The Star Tribune’s Stephen Montemayor reports: “Staring down an election without precedent, Minnesota officials entered the final push to ensure all voters’ ballots could be counted amid a historic surge in mail voting, legal challenges, federal monitors and elevated fears of conflict at polling places. … Secretary of State Steve Simon said Monday that a record 1,716,575 absentee ballots had been returned and accepted as of the morning — 58% of the total turnout for 2016. Another 338,944 requested absentee ballots remained outstanding.

Politico looks at Trump’s chances in Minnesota. David Siders writes: “Nothing in the data suggests Donald Trump will win Minnesota. Coronavirus cases are surging. The early vote looks great for Democrats, who have swamped Trump’s ad spending in the state. … But the contest appears to have tightened slightly in recent days. Trump pumped more money into the state last week, and Democrats began frantically warning voters to stop mailing ballots — stung by a court ruling that suggested late-arriving ballots could be invalidated. … Biden, shoring up his defenses, added a stop there Friday, just as Trump touched down in the state for the third time in recent weeks.”

Sahan Journal with a report on efforts to boost Latino turnout in Minnesota. At Sahan Journal, Joey Peters reports: “On a freezing Tuesday morning exactly one week before Election Day, a half-dozen organizers with Communities Organizing Latinx Power and Action (COPAL) set up a booth outside a just-opened early voting center in south Minneapolis’ Longfellow Park. … In the days leading up to this morning, COPAL promoted this event as one of many ways to get the local Latino community to vote in this year’s election. … Over the two hours that COPAL staffers manned the tent, some 50 voters, about half of them Latino, stopped by after casting their ballots. The check-ins alone probably don’t indicate the level of Latino election interest in Minnesota this year. But organizers said the important work really happened in the weeks and months leading up to this moment.”

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