Two additional counties are seeking the advice of the Minnesota Supreme Court after sending voters erroneous ballots.
Ballots sent out in Kittson and Roseau counties failed to include party affiliation for all federal and state offices, except governor. Additionally, incumbency status for judicial elections was missing.
Kittson County Administrator Brian Buhmann said 1,791 ballots have been mailed out and 25 had been accepted as of Oct. 8. Roseau County did not indicate how many ballots it has already sent out.
“To protect the electorate’s right to the candidate information prescribed by state law, every voter who attempted to vote on the old, inadequate ballot must, at a minimum, be informed that it contained insufficient information and then be given an opportunity to spoil their ballot and vote a new ballot that conforms to state law,” an attorney for the Secretary of State’s Office said in a court filing.
The counties said the ballots were prepared by SeaChange Printing and Marketing Services using data from the secretary of state. SeaChange then provided the counties with a proof of the ballot for final approval. The counties failed to catch the omissions during this process, according to court filings.
This comes after Ramsey County sent out 1,198 ballots with a deceased candidate’s name on them. The Supreme Court expedited the case and directed the county to print corrected ballots.
Voters who cast a ballot for the deceased candidate can choose to spoil their ballot and request a new one. If they choose not to, then their vote for the deceased candidate will not count, but their votes in all other races will be transferred to a replacement ballot and counted.
Republican Party of Minnesota communications director Nick Majerus said Secretary of State Steve Simon should be “working with county elections officials to make sure voters will get the right ballots at the right time” instead of “using his office to pursue a partisan political agenda.”