Ramsey County officials have found 318 absentee ballots that were not processed or counted in election returns in this month's general election.

This week, the Ramsey County Election Canvassing Board held an emergency meeting to affirm that an “obvious error” was made by county election judges earlier this month. The 318 ballots were properly cast Saturday, Oct. 31, at the county election office in St. Paul, but were placed in an area designated for process ballots, which election staff found Nov. 13 during the post-election review process, according to a statement from the board.

“Election staff came upon one sealed box of absentee ballots unprocessed and sealed in signature envelopes. The box was properly labeled as requiring processing but had been misplaced in an area of a secure storage faciity designated for sealed boxes of processed ballots,” the board said.

The 131 candidates affected by the error have been notified, though the board said that based on the precincts identified on the signature envelopes, they did not believe the outcome could be altered by the 318 ballots. The official deadline to process absentee ballots has passed, but Ramsey County District Judge John Guthmann has ordered officials to open and count them all.

According to unofficial results, 295,159 Ramsey County residents voted in the 2020 General Election, with 103,614 voters casting their ballots in-person on Election Day and 193,545 voting either early or absentee.


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