Ramsey County says 318 absentee ballots were not processed

An absentee ballot is sealed by a voter.

A total of 318 absentee ballots from Ramsey County were not processed or counted in the 2020 election, the County Canvassing Board said Wednesday.

The board convened in an emergency meeting Wednesday, voting to affirm an “obvious error” in the counting process that was discovered Nov. 13 as part of a routine post-election review process.

During that review, staff found the sealed box of absentee ballots. It was later determined the box was misplaced. All of the votes were cast Saturday, Oct. 31 at the Ramsey County Elections Office.

A total of 131 candidates were affected by the error, but the county says those ballots likely did not change the outcome of any election.

“Based on the precinct locations identified on the signature envelopes of the 318 absentee ballots, it does not appear possible that the outcome of any election contest in Ramsey County could be altered by these ballots alone,” the county said in a release Wednesday.

Candidates affected by this error can apply to the district court. If that court finds an error was made, it could issue a directive for the Canvassing Board to process the ballots and certify the new total.

No other errors were identified county-wide. A total of 297,159 votes were cast in the 2020 General Election.