Olmsted County election officials say write-in votes caused delays

Election judges had to deliver the ballots to election office
Published: Nov. 9, 2022 at 5:52 PM CST
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ROCHESTER, Minn. (KTTC) – People were glued to their televisions and phones Tuesday night waiting for election results.

Olmsted County residents had to wait well past midnight due to delays from write-in votes on ballots.

“Olmsted County doesn’t modem their results in, so the judges hand carry the results back to the elections office before we’re able to upload them,” Olmsted County Election Manager Luke Turner said. “So, in cases like a general election where there are a lot of write-ins that need to be hand tallied.”

Election judges were bringing ballots to the election headquarters past 9:00 p.m. Tuesday. Turner said, overall, the night went well.

“We didn’t have any snags at the polls or with absentee,” he said.

Olmsted County election judge Jim Anderson also said the night went smoothly from his perspective.

“Everybody played well,” Anderson said. “It was really cool, because we had a lot of first-time voters too. and it really tickles you because it means the younger generation cares.”

Anderson said the delays aren’t part of a big conspiracy, as he’s heard some people imply. He said election judges deserve respect, as it’s a volunteer position. He urges others to volunteer, too.

“I get really worked up when people say those things,” he said. “I drove by a polling place, it was past nine. These people were working hard.”

Turner said election results aren’t official until the canvassing board meets and compares the numbers with the Minnesota Secretary of State data. After that, there’s a hand count of random sampling for four precincts. Turner said the process takes about two weeks.