Chisago City residents left waiting for hours to vote; county brings in extra machine

The state and county are working to remedy long waits for voting in Chisago County on Tuesday.

According to several voters who reached out to FOX 9, voters were waiting hours to vote on Tuesday.

One man, who is in his 70s, said he and his wife tried four times to vote at the Chisago City library on Tuesday. The first three times, they saw a long line and decided to try again later. On the fourth attempt, the man says the couple bundled up and prepared to wait.

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However, after more than an hour of waiting, they said they were even halfway down the line and weren't able to stand any longer. The man says he heard others had also left before they were able to vote.

Twitter user Ben Zierke also documented the long, wet wait in Chisago City. It took him over an hour to vote but noted the line had "tripled" since he arrived.

In statements to FOX 9, the county auditor and Secretary of State's Office said they were aware of the issue. Chisago County Auditor Bridgitte Konrad said they believe a referendum question had generated a great deal of interest in the election and they were bringing in an extra ballot tabulator to help cut down on lines.

"There has been great voter turnout throughout the County," the statement reads. "ISD 2144 has a referendum question that I believe has generated some additional interest. Chisago City is one of those precincts. Because of the number of candidates and questions on the ballot we have a two-page ballot which takes longer to complete and process. We have deployed an additional ballot tabulator to that location to help move the lines along faster."

A spokesperson for the Secretary of State's Office says they have also been in communication with the county to make sure steps are being taken to handle the high turnout.

"This is one of the largest precincts in the state and has a special two-page ballot due to local referendum questions, the combination of these factors and high turnout are causing delays," the statement reads. "Voters should remember that as long as they are in line at 8 p.m. they can cast their ballot tonight."