Jul 28, 2014
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City Apologizes for Voting Delays

Kingfield, other SW Minneapolis neighborhoods faced long lines on Nov. 6.

City Apologizes for Voting Delays

According to the Southwest Journal, the Minneapolis City Clerk is apologizing for long lines and problems at polling places during last month's elections:

“I can only offer my most sincere and most genuine apology,” Casey Carl said before offering several recommendations to improve voting.

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City Council Member Lisa Goodman (Ward 7) complained of issues with results reporting. City results weren’t uploaded to the Secretary of the State’s results page until 12:20 a.m., leaving School Board candidates and those interested in the constitutional amendments staying up late waiting for results.

“I’ve never seen it like this, where we didn’t report anything until everything is in,” Goodman said.

Carl said his team did not have enough election judges in place to accomodate record voter turnout. In addition, some voting machines broke down.

Several Southwest Minneapolis polling places had very waits on Election Day, and many Patch readers tweeted pictures of lines stretching far out the doors of their polling places

In a statement emailed to reporters Monday afternoon, City of Minneapolis spokesperson Matt Laible rattled off a list of future solutions:

  • Pushing for more early voting statewide, to reduce the demand on polling places.
  • Advocating for new laws that would allow Minneapolis to create "vote centers" at convenient places throughout the city, where voters in a given county can cast their ballots regardless of what precinct they lived in. 
  • Looking into using electronic poll books instead of the current paper books elections workers currently use. Laible's statement said claimed the electronic records would make it faster to look up voter data for multiple precincts, an essential tool if the city is to establish "vote centers."
  • "Evaluate the City’s polling places and ensure that polling places that meet the needs of voter turnout, including accessibility, parking, and capacity."
  • Replacing the city's 13-year old voting equipment.

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