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Write-in votes in Duluth legislative race could delay statewide results

The complicated state House race in District 7B will take longer to count, so statewide results on the constitutional amendments will be delayed, too.

Secretary of State Mark Ritchie warns poll-watchers that election results Tuesday night will be slowed by the counting of write-in votes expected in state House District 7B.

Could be a very, very late night, he told WCCO-TV.

St. Louis County, which includes Duluth, is a vast area and votes are often reported late there. But it’llbe  complicated this year in 7B, where incumbent DFL state Rep. Kerry Gauthier dropped out because of a sex scandal.

Because of the timing, the state Supreme Court allowed the DFL to substitute Erik Simonson for Gauthier. But another DFLer, Jay Fosle, a member of the Duluth City Council, has mounted a strong write-in campaign, and was even endorsed by the Duluth newspaper.

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And the delays in reporting that race will also mean we’ll have to wait for results of the 8th District Congressional race between U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack and Rick Nolan, and the two constitutional amendments.