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Officials 'happy' with election process

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Despite a large voter turnout, changed precincts for some voters and a slight hiccup with ballot counts toward the end of the night, Goodhue County officials say Tuesday's election went smoothly.

"We're really happy with what happened in Goodhue County," said Caroline Holmsten, county auditor and finance director. "Yes, there were a few glitches, but nothing that can't be worked through."

In Goodhue County, 94 percent of eligible voters cast ballots.

"(It) is very large," Holmsten said of voter turnout.

"This is a pretty good number," Finance Controller Amy Hove added.

In Minnesota, unofficial results released Wednesday by the Secretary of State Office show that 76 percent of eligible voters -- or more than 2.9 million people -- voted Tuesday. The turnout set a state record.

"With a presidential election, more people vote," Hove said.

As the day wore on in Goodhue County, election judges -- in addition to their other duties -- also helped make sure voters got to their proper polling places. With the combining of three precincts in each ward for two in the city, some voters had a new voting location.

"Judges had to deal with redirecting voters," Hove said.

Once the polls closed at 8 p.m., judges then had to reconcile the number of ballots cast with the number of signatures in their registry before bringing the ballots to the Goodhue County Government Center. Hove said precincts finished up ballot delivery fairly early.

"Our last precinct came in at 11 p.m. That is great," Hove said.

A slight delay occurred when a few ballots from Welch Township got accidentally placed in with those from Red Wing's Ward 1 Precinct 2. The mix-up happened because both precincts use the same polling location at Burnside Elementary School.

Hove said that the mix-up threw off counts from both precincts. Judges then had to go through the ballots to re-sort them into their proper piles.

"It just takes a little time," Holmsten said.

All Goodhue County precincts were reporting by 2 a.m.

"We feel very good about the way the elections went," Hove said.

Goodhue County the numbers

Percent of eligible voters who voted: 94

New registrants: 3,855

Absentee ballots cast: 2,254

Different ballots used in Goodhue County: 69-70

Ballots that caused delay with Welch Township and Red Wing Ward 1: 3

Sarah Gorvin
Sarah Gorvin has been with the Republican Eagle for two years and covers education, business and crime and courts. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities in 2010 with a  journalism degree.