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Election Results: When will Minnesota’s ballots be counted by?

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So far, this series of explainers has visited the swing states of Arizona, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin—looking at when each might release their election results. Now let’s visit the Land of 10,000 Lakes: Minnesota.

For an explanation about the difference between mail-in and absentee ballots, check out this piece here by Ben Wilson: The Difference Between Absentee and Mail-In Ballots.

Minnesota has been one of the most consistently Democratic states in the country. Like Michigan and Wisconsin, Minnesota forms part of the Democrats’ traditional “Blue Wall” of support in the Great Lakes region. The last time it voted for a Republican was for then-incumbent President Richard Nixon in 1972. In 1984, it and the District of Columbia were the only parts of the country to give the Democratic nominee, former Vice President Walter Mondale electoral votes. However, all that could change in a couple weeks.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton won the state by a razor-thin 1.5-point margin in 2016, a 44,593-vote difference between her and then-GOP nominee Trump. That’s a far cry from 2012, when then-President Barack Obama won the state by 8 points.

All of that being said, there’s a ton of pressure on humble Minnesota.

To prevent a backlog of ballots to count on Election Day, election workers have already begun counting absentee ballots. 60% of the requested absentee ballots in Ramsey County—where St. Paul is situated—have already been returned, CBS News 4 WCCO reports. So far, over 900,000 Minnesotans have voted.

How the ballot counting process works, according to deputy auditor Heather Bestler, is: “The ballots are scanned, the machine reads them and stores the information. Then, at 8 p.m. on election night, we hit tabulate. And that’s when we get all the results.”

According to the same WCCO report by Christiane Cordero, Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon, the state’s head of elections, has said that the state is in a relatively good position to turn in results quickly.

One thing to keep in mind is that a state court and Simon agreed to allow ballots to be counted that are postmarked on Election Day and received by clerks up to seven days afterward, in anticipation of the U.S. Postal Service being weighed down with ballots.

All things considered, most of the results could likely be released within the two weeks following November 3, assuming that things go as planned.

You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @Douglas_P_Braff.

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Elections

BREAKING: Hunter Biden Found Guilty on All Three Felony Charges

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Hunter Biden, son of President Joe Biden, was found guilty on all three felony charges on Tuesday. After a six-day trial, a jury concluded that the first son lied on a federal gun-purchase background-check form by falsely claiming he was not a drug addict. The jury deliberated for three hours, starting Monday afternoon following the conclusion of closing arguments.

Hunter Biden was convicted on two charges for lying about his crack-cocaine addiction on federal gun paperwork when he purchased a Colt Cobra revolver on October 12, 2018. Additionally, he was found guilty of a third charge for possessing the firearm while addicted to crack cocaine.

According to National Review, the criminal trial exposed deep rifts within the Biden family. Hunter’s ex-wife, Kathleen Buhle, and his deceased brother Beau Biden’s widow, Hallie Biden, testified against him. This created an emotional divide within the family, especially when Naomi Biden, the eldest daughter of Buhle and Hunter, testified for the defense, pitting mother against daughter.

Federal prosecutors Derek Hines and Leo Wise led the case against Hunter Biden as part of special counsel David Weiss’s legal team. Throughout the trial, Weiss was present in the courtroom, often seen conversing and eating chocolates during breaks.

Prosecutors presented what they described as “overwhelming evidence” of Hunter Biden’s drug addiction at the time he completed the gun purchase. This evidence included witness testimony, text messages, videos, images, bank records, and excerpts from Hunter’s memoir. Key testimonies from Hallie Biden, gun salesman Gordon Cleveland, and ex-girlfriend Zoe Kestan were crucial in establishing Hunter Biden’s pattern of drug use and his decision to lie about his addiction.

Defense attorney Abbe Lowell argued that Hunter Biden’s behavior had improved around the time of the gun purchase, asserting that he did not “knowingly” lie on the federal paperwork. However, the testimonies of Kestan and Cleveland, along with Hunter Biden’s own admissions of drug use in texts and memoir excerpts, posed significant challenges to the defense’s narrative.

Throughout the trial, Lowell conducted extensive cross-examinations of the prosecution’s witnesses and disputed the context of the evidence presented. However, Leo Wise’s cross-examination of Naomi Biden, where he scrutinized her text messages with her father from October 2018, proved to be a pivotal moment, undermining her defense testimony.

Before the verdict, President Biden stated he would respect the jury’s decision and would not pardon his son if convicted. At the trial’s onset, President Biden issued a statement expressing pride in his son’s efforts to overcome his drug addiction.

Hunter Biden is scheduled to face another trial in September on nine federal tax charges related to his alleged failure to pay over $1.4 million in taxes over four years.

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