With Laura Yuen and Elizabeth Dunbar.
The polls in Minnesota have been open for more than two hours, and we’re already getting reports about wait times and other snags on Election Day.
Joe Mansky, Ramsey County elections administrator, says that his office has received a few complaints about election judges telling voters that a blank vote on the constitutional amendments is counted as a “no” vote, which they are not allowed to do. Instead, election judges have been instructed to tell voters to read their ballot instructions.
Meanwhile, MPR reporters who voted this morning reported long lines and long wait times at various polling places in the Twin Cities area. Here are a few snapshots:
At the Holy Spirit Church in St. Paul’s Mac Groveland neighborhood, the wait was about 40 minutes.
At MLK Park in Minneapolis, more than 200 people formed two lines to vote, but lines were moving well.
In the Kenwood neighborhood of Minneapolis, a long line stretching down the block with wait time more than 30 minutes.
Lines at VFW at Lyndale and 29th in Minneapolis are very long. One man said he waited for more than an hour to vote.
At the Central Park Gym in south central Minneapolis, at least 200 people are in line and the wait is between 45 and 60 minutes. Some are jumping the line, making other voters a little testy. Elderly people who can’t stand are being moved to the front.
My polling place at the Neill High Rise on Laurel Ave. in St. Paul had its own share of confusion. Several voters showed up having already registered to vote only to find their names were not on voter rolls. As a result, they were asked to register on site. The problem appeared to have something to do with redistricting.
There have also been scattered reports of voters seeing lawn signs or messages related to the marriage amendment at churches also serving as polling places, which is not allowed.
According to MPR’s Elizabeth Dunbar:
That included Saint John Vianney in South St. Paul, where a banner that read “Strengthen Marriage, don’t redefine it” could be seen by voters entering the church.
“I was shocked, I didn’t think that would be allowed,” said Ivan Kowalenko, who tweeted a photo of the sign. “II was hearing that you’re not allowed to wear any political slogan of your own, so it doesn’t seem entirely appropriate that a voting venue would be allowed to express an opinion.”
A church official reached shortly after Kowalenko voted said the sign has been removed.