Olmsted county election officials manage voting issues for primary and special election

Election officials and poll workers manage voting issues to ensure every vote is counted.
Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 6:11 PM CDT
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – As of Monday, Olmsted County has more than 100,000 people registered to vote. 4,600 of those voters cast their ballots early voting absentee.

Tuesday is both the State Primary and the Special Election for Congressional District 1.

There are two sides on the ballot. One is a partisan side and another is a non-partisan side.

For the partisan side, you can vote in every column for every election. That’s for the mayoral, school board, city council and county commissioner races.

However, for the partisan side, you can only vote for one party in one column. That’s for the Governor and Lieutenant Governor, Secretary of State and Attorney General.

Although the Congressional District 1 seat is a partisan position, it’s on the back of your ballot next to the non-partisan races.

When we asked voters which of these elections brought them to the polls today, they said all of them.

“They were very helpful, all the people working at the polling places were helpful. Made it real easy,” Rochester voter Jesse Young said.

“It affects us more than the national federal offices,” Rochester voter Jim Donadio said.

“Women especially worked really hard for many years to get this right. It’s a responsibility of every American,” Rochester voter Angela Thompson said.

Poll workers say voting too many times on your ballot is one of the most common mistakes voters make.

“On the partisan side, they can only vote for one party. In a primary, that’s probably the biggest mistake is they cross party lines or vote for all the parties. We have not had an overabundance of that, so that’s good,” head election judge Teresa Hughes said.

If you vote too many times on your ballot, the machine will tell you that you over-voted. If this happens, make sure to get a replacement ballot from an election judge.

Poll workers also deal with technical issues.

Tuesday morning, the voting machine at the Willow Creek Middle School polling place was down for about ten minutes according to Olmsted County Elections. Voters were still able to put their ballots into the machine, but they were not counted when they put them in.

They instead went into a separate part of the machine where two judges from the two major political parties will run the ballots through the machine and count them when it’s back up in running.

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