Hennepin County tally error causes confusionby Madeleine Baran, Minnesota Public Radio
An error in the vote tallies for Hennepin County created confusion in the tight gubernatorial race Tuesday evening.
Rachel Smith, the director of elections for Hennepin County, said that an error caused the Secretary of State's office to incorrectly report that at least 880,000 votes were cast in Hennepin County - almost twice the correct amount.
Smith said that the error was corrected and that the correct results have been posted on Hennepin County website. The county's website shows that 470,470 votes were cast, with all precincts reporting.
The updated results cut the total number of votes for Republican Tom Emmer and DFLer Mark Dayton roughly in half.
Smith said that elections officials discovered the mistake shortly after 10 p.m. She said the error occurred when an updated file of counts was added to the total count instead of replacing the previous number. That meant that a number of absentee and in-person votes were counted twice, Smith said.
"We are working very diligently to get the results out as quickly as we possibly can, and it looks like it was just a wrong button that was hit," Smith said.
She said that she doesn't believe the problem was replicated elsewhere.
"We have compared the data and we are confident that we are reporting accurately."
The Secretary of State's website shows that 706,490 people were registered to vote in Hennepin County as of 7 a.m. today. Minnesota allows for same-day voter registration, but it's rare for more than 20 percent of voters to have registered on Election Day.