MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Minnesota will waive its witness requirements for absentee ballots for the August primary election under the settlement of two lawsuits sparked by the health threat from the coronavirus.

Secretary of State Steve Simon reached the settlements in lawsuits by the League of Women Voters of Minnesota and the Minnesota Alliance for Retired Americans. Ballots received within two days of the Aug. 11 primary will be accepted if they’re postmarked by Election Day. A state judge signed off on the decree with the retirees Wednesday. A federal judge set a hearing for Thursday on the league’s case.

Republican lawmakers say Simon overstepped his authority and argue the settlements contradict state election laws that were negotiated by the legislature earlier this year.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app