Election officials report smooth Hennepin County voting with only minor glitches

Things are going well in Hennepin County, with the “normal minor snafus or glitches,” says Jill Alverson, a county auditor responsible for elections.

“There have been a couple of precincts where the tabulator machine stopped working because of jams and things like that,” says Alverson. “But all the judges know the correct procedure to fix the machines.”

Minneapolis spokesman Matt Laible has a similar report. The day has been “pretty routine with occasional glitches,” he says.

“In one precinct, voting got under way late because they had to reset a machine,” says Laible. “At another precinct, they had to swap out a ballot counter. But overall, there has not been anything significant or long term.”

Hennepin County’s Alverson says staff members have been fielding an “enormous amount of calls” from the public about where to vote, and she had heard some complaints about long waits. “A woman called me early to say she was concerned she waited 30 minutes,” says Alverson, incredulously. “I reassured her that it was a really busy day, and a number of people have had to wait longer than that.”

Alverson says elections staff are communicating regularly with voting precincts throughout the day, helping clerks with procedural questions. She says elections officials also are spending a lot of their time distributing absentee ballots that come in the mail. The ballots are sorted by precinct number and then delivered to the correct polling station by courier where, after 8 p.m., poll workers will open them and count them.

Hennepin County will accept mailed-in ballots by the last mail run today until about 3 p.m.

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