Ramsey County election officials have sent more than 1,000 St. Paul voters absentee ballots with a deceased candidate’s name on them.
The county attributed the mistake to a “clerical error” in a press release Tuesday. As of Monday night, the county said 1,077 ballots listing Beverly Peterson as the Republican candidate for House District 67A were sent to voters.
According to a Supreme Court filing, Peterson died at the beginning of August and was replaced by Scott Hesselgrave as the GOP nominee. Officials said the Ramsey County Elections Office was notified by the Minnesota secretary of state on Aug. 29 that ballots for the general election should be updated with Hesselgrave’s name.
But this apparently never happened and the error wasn’t discovered until Friday when early voting began.
“After discovering the error, Ramsey County immediately began an internal review and determined the updated file was not sent to the ballot printer earlier this month. Officials have reviewed all other ballots and found no other issues. The Elections Office received all general election ballots on Sept. 22,” the county said in its press release.
The county has asked the Minnesota Supreme Court to determine a resolution, which only the court can do. Until a resolution is determined, Ramsey County “must continue to issue the erroneous ballots to absentee voters by mail and in person.”
Election officials said voters who cast absentee ballots can replace their ballot with a new one up until one week before Election Day.
“Ramsey County sincerely regrets this error and apologizes to both the voters of District 67A and the candidates impacted by this oversight. Upon learning of this error, we immediately began an internal audit to identify where the error occurred and today formally began the legal process to resolve the issue,” the county said. “Ramsey County elections staff is preparing to implement a resolution as soon as one is identified by the court and is taking steps to update internal procedures to ensure an error does not happen again. It’s imperative that every vote count.”