A judge has ordered Ramsey County election officials to open and count 318 absentee ballots that were properly cast but misplaced and went uncounted in election returns released two weeks ago.
Ramsey District Court Judge John Guthmann agreed to issue the order Thursday after Rep. Jamie Becker-Finn, DFL-Roseville, one of 131 candidates on the misplaced ballots, petitioned the court to have them counted. An attorney for Ramsey County agreed the votes should be tallied.
The county’s Canvassing Board acknowledged the “obvious error” at an emergency meeting Wednesday. County officials said they didn’t believe the additional ballots could flip any of the races, based on where the voters lived, but they county notified all candidates whose races might be affected.
Under state law, the deadline to automatically count those ballots has already passed and a court order was required to tally them.
Becker-Finn, an attorney who represents five northern Ramsey