Hennepin County confident in Minnesota election day vote totals

5:01 PM, Nov 3, 2010   |    comments
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MINNEAPOLIS -- Elections officials in Hennepin County say they are confident their election results are accurate -- after what is being called a "human error" doubled some vote totals on the county's website.

Minnesota Republicans honed in on Hennepin County as results shifted Tuesday night, and had earlier raised concerns over voting machines in the county's precincts.

But Hennepin County Elections Manager Rachel Smith says Wednesday that results of absentee or incoming votes were never compromised and that results on the Hennepin website are accurate.

"Until approximately 10 p.m. election night, our wireless transmission technology for reporting election results was working perfectly," said Smith. "We were updating to our website and the Secretary of State's site without a problem. At approximately 10 p.m., we temporarily paused transmission of precinct results to verify absentee ballot counts that were also being uploaded at the same time."

Smith says that when the county resumed transmitting precinct results, a staff person pushed the wrong button - 'add to' instead of 'replace,' and as a result all previously reported data was reported again, resulting in an almost doubling of data results.

"We recognized the error immediately and the website data was corrected within 45 minutes," said Smith. "We want to clarify that this was not an error in counting results, but a temporary error in reporting results. The error was correctly diagnosed and resolved."  The unofficial results on our website are accurate."

The corrected figures gave Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mark Dayton about a 69,000-vote lead over Republican Tom Emmer in Hennepin County, compared with a 134,000-vote lead under the incorrect figures.

The race between Dayton and Emmer remains too close to call.


(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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