City of Duluth explains City Council primary election reporting mishap

[anvplayer video=”5049593″ station=”998130″]

In the recent climate surrounding elections there has been a public focus on the election process. Putting the pressure on officials to ensure every little aspect of our elections are accurate. Making sure they are fair and called correctly.

Even so, issues on election night can happen. In Duluth, there was a mistake in the reporting of the ballots for the Duluth primary City Council District 4 election on Tuesday night.

Around 8:30 p.m., an error occurred that caused candidates Renee Van Nett and Nathanial Rankin’s totals to be switched.

The Minnesota Secretary of State office made a statement Tuesday night saying, "We’re in touch with the city—they’re working to correct the candidate coding on the file they upload to our office."

Chelsea Helmer from City Hall says, “we definitely regret anytime that there’s an error, or there is information that is misconstrued. And we want to fix that as soon as possible.”

The city reports this was caused by a coding error. When plugging in the numbers, they were entered for the wrong person on the Minnesota Secretary of State’s website. And say that the two candidates’ totals are now accurate.

The city of Duluth apologizes for the confusion and says they worked on fixing it as fast as they could, taking the error very seriously.
Helmer says again, “It’s really important for us as election officials and then of course when we canvas those returns we make sure everything is completely accurate.”

In the at-large race, Tim Meyer earned the fourth spot on the general election ballot by just one vote over Ashlie Castaldo. Castaldo qualifies for a city-funded recount, but a City of Duluth spokesperson said she has not yet requested one.

A previous version of this story reported that a default recount was happening in the at-large race. It was corrected on Aug. 12.