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Mower County explains vote counting issues, blames software

UPDATE: 8:30 P.M. All results Mower County attempted to report to the Secretary of State's office have now been reported.

According to a statement from Mower County Auditor-Treasurer Scott Felten Wednesday night, about 350 absentee and mail-in ballots received by Tuesday still need to be processed and counted. He expects that to happen on Thursday.

AUSTIN, Minn. (KTTC) -- Mower County officials say the delay in reporting voting results is not due to any voting or ballot issues. In a statement issued Wednesday, Mower County Auditor -Treasurer Scott Felten says it's a "software programming error."

The statement says the county elections team encountered the problem when it attempted to upload vote data to the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office early Wednesday morning. Staff members were unable to fix the problem.

Staffers then worked manually to submit results. The staff is also continuing work on the software issue.

Full statement:

When the Mower County elections team went to upload the data from Election Day voting and absentee and mail ballot data early Wednesday morning, we encountered a programming error related to the software used to submit data to the Secretary of State’s office. Despite working with tech support and our software vendor, we were unable to resolve the problem, and we were unable to provide full election results for our county.

Election staff worked to manually submit voting results for some precincts, but was not able to submit results for the City of Austin or the mail ballot precincts or the absentee ballots processed. We are continuing to work to manually submit City of Austin results as soon as possible. We are also continuing to work with our software vendor and the Secretary of State’s office so that full results can be posted.

The problem is not related to any voting or ballot issues, but rather the result of a software programming error.

The Mower County Elections Office saw very heavy traffic on Monday and Tuesday with in-person absentee voting and mail ballot and absentee ballot drop off. Approximately 1,300 ballots were received during those two days and needed to be reviewed, accepted, reconciled, opened, and tabulated. County staff and election judges worked tirelessly Tuesday evening into Wednesday morning to process as many of these ballots as possible. About 350 absentee or mail ballots remained uncounted as of early Wednesday morning.

The Mower County Elections Office realizes this is deeply frustrating and will continue to work with our vendor and the Secretary of State to get the remaining results reported as soon as possible and to complete ballot counting.

Scott Felten, Mower County Auditor -Treasurer

For full election results, click here.


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