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Drop-off sites around Twin Cities see long lines after ballot-tracking system temporarily goes down

Plus: mail-in ballots, security concerns test Minnesota’s election system; Wisconsin surpasses 2,000 total deaths from COVID-19; MN United game canceled after another player tests positive for coronavirus; and more. 

In the Star Tribune, Randy Furst and Torey Van Oot write: “Drop-off voting sites around the Twin Cities reported heavy turnout and in some cases long lines with waits of up to four hours Saturday after the website Minnesotans use to track their absentee ballots experienced hardware problems. A spokeswoman for Secretary of State Steve Simon said access to the public-facing tools were restored midmorning, after a ‘hardware issue impacting the online tools for voters.’ The problem also affected the Statewide Voter Registration System. By late afternoon, all systems were restored.”

Also in the Star Tribune, Van Oot and Stephen Montemoyer write: “A crush of mail-in ballots, security concerns and an army of lawyers maneuvering ahead of Tuesday’s voting are testing Minnesota’s election system like no other election before. State officials already navigating the pandemic have been called on to protect the integrity of the election, defend face mask requirements and guard against possible acts of voter intimidation.”

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In the Los Angeles Times, Michael Finnegan writes about Wisconsin: “The pandemic is rampaging through the small towns of this battleground state just as the presidential campaign draws to a close, a sign of trouble for President Donald Trump. Deutsch is one of more than 1,000 people in her dairy-farm county who have been sickened by COVID-19, most of them since Labor Day. A devout Catholic who displays a ‘Make America Kind Again!’ sign on her front lawn, Deutsch had ample complaints about Trump even before the virus struck. Now, his chronic flouting of public health expertise is only heightening her determination to get him out of office.”

KSTP-TV’s Kyle Brown reports: “The Wisconsin Department of Health Services reported 5,278 new cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, surpassing the state’s previous record that was set earlier this week. With 59 more deaths reported on Saturday, Wisconsin passed another grim milestone: 2,000 total deaths. The state’s count now stands at 2,031. Over the past week, Wisconsin has averaged 37 deaths per day, according to DHS statistics. Wisconsin has breached 5,000 daily cases in three of the past five days; the state had never reached the mark before then. Over the past seven days, the state has averaged 4,404 newly reported cases per day. To date, 225,370 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Wisconsin.

KSTP-TV says: “Minnesota United’ match at Sporting Kansas City on Sunday has been canceled after another Loons player tested positive for COVID-19. After confirming one case on Wednesday, a second Minnesota United player was confirmed positive for COVID-19 on Saturday. The match will not be rescheduled due to to the limited number of match dates available prior to the playoffs. Minnesota United has already qualified for the postseason.”