Hennepin County officials aren’t taking any chances: They’re instituting strong measures to assure the security of all ballots cast Tuesday, in preparation for a likely recount.
Starting today, they’re moving all the ballots to the Hennepin County Government Center “to ensure the security, uniformity and transparency of the recount process.”
The 500,000 or so ballots will be kept locked and under 24-hour guard by sheriff’s deputies in the Government Center. And each box of ballots will get a bar code, for added security. Like at Target.
The county was plagued by a glitch on Election Night, when someone hit a wrong button and double-added some of the counted votes to the total, giving DFLer Mark Dayton an apparent extra 60,000-vote lead. They say someone transmitting a large file of returns mistakenly hit “Add,” rather than “Replace.”
The mistake was soon caught and the votes were subtracted. But some GOP operatives quickly used the mistake to attack the election process.
To further assure voters that they’re taking this security thing seriously, several Hennepin County officials will hold a news conference this afternoon. County Board Chair Mike Opat, the County Attorney’s Office and the Sheriff’s Office will describe the layers of security and then let reporters see ballots arrive and get locked into detention.