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Live updates: Biden wins Minnesota as results continue to come in

The latest developments on polling places, election results, dropping off your absentee ballot and all things Election Day 2020.

Wednesday, Nov. 4 

KARE 11 will report results at kare11.com/elections as they come in. State officials caution that final results could take time.

  • Associated Press calls Minnesota for Joe Biden
  • Democrat Tina Smith retains U.S. Senate seat
  • Republican Michelle Fischbach unseats Collin Peterson
  • Democratic Reps. Ilhan Omar and Dean Phillips, Republican Rep. Tom Emmer retain Congressional seats according to Associated Press projections
  • The Associated Press projected Betty McCollum and Pete Stauber winners

3:00 a.m. 

As Minnesota voters wait for the results from the 1st and 2nd Congressional Districts, officials continue to recommend patience out of respect for the American democratic process.

The 1st Congressional District race is between Republican incumbent Jim Hagedorn and Democratic challenger Dan Feehan. 

CD-2 is the battle between Democratic incumbent Angie Craig and Republican challenger Tyler Kistner. 

Tuesday, Nov. 3 - Election Day

KARE 11 will report results at kare11.com/elections as they come in. State officials caution that final results could take time.

  • Polls closed at 8 p.m. in Minnesota; as long as you were in line by 8 
  • Minneapolis breaks its 2016 record for voter turnout

12:42 a.m.

The Associated Press is projecting Republican Michelle Fischbach has ousted longtime Democratic incumbent Rep. Collin Peterson for Minnesota's 7th Congressional District.

Fishbach had 54% of the votes, while Peterson had 40% with 93% of the precincts reporting. 

12:20 a.m.

Tina Smith is projected to win the tightly-contested race for Minnesota's U.S. Senate seat, according to the Associated Press.

Smith led Republican challenger Jason Lewis 50% to 43% with 84% of the precincts reporting.

11:55 p.m.

The Associated Press has projected Betty McCollum the winner of Minnesota's 4th Congressional District and Pete Stauber the winner of Minnesota's 8th Congressional District.

McCollum led Republican challenger Gene Rechtzigel 63% to 29% with nearly 94% of the precincts reporting.

Stauber led DFL challenger Quinn Nystrom 55% to 40% with 75% of the precincts reporting.

11:14 p.m.

The Associated Press projected Joe Biden as the winner in Minnesota just after 11 p.m. on Election Day.

Biden led President Donald Trump 54% to 44% in the state as of that time Tuesday, with 61% of precincts reporting.

Minnesota has 10 Electoral College votes.

10:15 p.m.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison is reminding the public to be patient waiting for final results to come in this Election Day.

"Simple reminder: during COVID19 and with historically high turnout, counting all legally cast votes will take time," Ellison posted on Twitter Tuesday night at 10:15.

"Regardless of what anyone else claims," Ellison wrote, "the election is over when and only when all legally cast votes are counted."

9:50 p.m.

Republican Tom Emmer has won reelection to Minnesota's Sixth Congressional District, according to an Associated Press projection. Emmer had 63% of the vote with 52% of precincts reporting. His Democratic challenger Tawnja Zahradka trailed with 37%.

9 p.m.

The Associated Press projects that Rep. Dean Phillips has beat out Republican challenger Kendall Qualls to win reelection to his Congressional seat in Minnesota's Third District.

Rep. Ilhan Omar will also retain her seat in Minnesota's Fifth Congressional District, defeating Lacy Johnson, according to an AP projection.

 

RELATED: Election profiles: 2020 Minnesota races for U.S. Senate, House

After polls closed, Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon reminded voters on Twitter that counting all of the ballots will take a few days, but that's "literally by design."

"It's evidence that the system is working," Simon said. "We need to get it right, and we will."

8 p.m.

Polls are closed in Minnesota, but anyone who was in line by 8 p.m. can still cast their vote. Officials are urging people who are in line not to leave. 

After polls closed in Farmington, Minnesota, a line still stretched down the block as voters waited to cast their ballots. Here was that line at about 7:30 p.m.

Voter Denice Wright said it was especially busy at Loring Elementary School in north Minneapolis on Tuesday. When she arrived at 6:45 a.m., she told KARE reporter Jennifer Hoff that the line was out the door and around the building so she went home. 

“I almost fainted, but I was able to keep calm and I was able to come back,” said Wright. “It just felt overwhelming and like if I would have got out (of the car), I never would have gotten in.”

Wright said voting relieved a lot of the stress she was feeling throughout the election season, but said it’s not over quite yet.

“It’s been very, very stressful and it’s still a little bit stressful because we’re still waiting on the outcome,” said Wright. “I don’t know what to expect but hopefully it’s a good outcome.”

 

Outside of Loring Elementary was a new group from the Twin Cities called the Democracy Defenders. They were legally sitting across the street from the school on the lookout to prevent voter intimidation. Group volunteer Marna Anderson said they are trained to de-escalate situations and distract the person who might be causing trouble. The group said they didn’t see any trouble on Tuesday.

Elizabeth Kittilson and her husband said voting was a smooth process at a different polling place in Golden Valley. Elizabeth is 88 years old and has voted in every election she could. But the couple always votes for different parties. Elizabeth said respect is key and has helped them stay married for 67 years.

“The other person has the privilege to have his/her own vote and everyone should vote the way they think they want to see the country run,” said Elizabeth. “So it’s very important to vote.”

6 p.m.

Minneapolis Elections & Voter Services reports that the city has already surpassed its voter turnout from 2016.

As of 5 p.m., the city had reached 228,903 votes and counting. The total tally for 2016 was 207,114. That was the previous record.

There are still two hours left to cast a ballot in person. If you're in line by 8 p.m., you are legally allowed to vote.

4:10 p.m.

The Minnesota Attorney General's Office confirmed Tuesday that Minnesotans are getting false robocalls discouraging them from voting. AG Keith Ellison reminded Minnesotans that they should go vote if they haven't yet, and that if they are in line by 8 p.m. their ballot will be counted.

RELATED: Minnesota AG office confirms false robocalls; voters should still vote today

4 p.m.

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon held a live video conference at 4 p.m. on Tuesday to give updates on Election Day voting.

Simon said as of Tuesday morning, 1,846,668 absentee ballots had been returned in Minnesota. That's out of 2,129,804 requested.

That means 283,136 ballots still need to be turned in.

"That number is deceptively high," Simon said. That's because some of those ballots have yet to be processed, some of those people will still vote in person, and some of them are in mail-in only districts where everyone was automatically issued an absentee ballot - whether or not they intended to vote.

Simon reminded Minnesotans that at this point, voters can no longer vote absentee. Even if they have an absentee ballot that they have not turned in, they can still go vote in person by 8 p.m. If anyone was concerned about voting in person due to COVID-19 they can pull up to a polling place and be directed to a curbside voting option.

Simon referenced last week's 8th Circuit Court of Appeals decision that all absentee ballots received after 8 p.m. on Nov. 3 have to be segregated, pending any potential litigation. That's after a seven-day grace period instituted in Minnesota was challenged by a lawsuit.

Counties will be reporting their daily absentee ballot counts every day next week, Simon said, to give the public an idea of how many votes are included in that pile.

However, Wednesday and Thursday's tallies will not necessarily all be in the segregated pile of ballots, because the Minnesota Legislature gave counties two extra days to process absentee ballots that came in by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

"Administratively it has been a superb day," Simon said. "It's really about the absence rather than the presence of things to report."

He said traffic flow at polling places was good, and in places where there were lines, they were still manageable. There was plenty of personal protective equipment (PPE) and other supplies to prevent the spread of COVID-19. 

"No significant conflicts to report," Simon said, according to their reports from counties or cities. "We have not heard yet of fights over masks, fights over political apparel, fights over eligibility."

There have been questions over people lingering near polling places, but those incidents have all been resolved, he said. A few reports of power outages or glitchy machines, Simon said, but "those really are one-offs, and that happens every election."

"So far, and I know it's only so far, we have three hours and 45 minutes left to go, things have gone very smoothly," Simon said.

Simon said the top questions for the state's call center have been things like: Where and how do I drop off my absentee ballot? What can I wear to the polling place? How do I track my ballot?

"We hope that as early as tonight" the public may find out who won each race in Minnesota, including president, Simon said. However, he pointed out that it depends on how wide the margin is in each race. "We'll know a lot more after 8 o'clock."

Simon said that by Tuesday night, he expects the state will report the tallies from all of the in-person ballots cast in Minnesota, and "all or substantially all of the absentee ballots that have been received by tonight."

Since counties have two extra days to process absentee ballots that arrived by 8 p.m. Tuesday, that entire total may not be posted Tuesday night.

Regarding the potential of any lawsuits over the results after Nov. 3, Simon said, "We've planned for it, expecting that it's at least a distinct possibility."

3:20 p.m.

Hennepin County officials say voting has been steady and largely smooth.

As of 2:30 p.m.:

  • 618,000 absentee ballots had been requested
  • 527,000 returned
  • For comparison, 2016 had 203,000 absentee ballots

Given those numbers, the county clerk expects "remarkably high" overall turnout. Most absentee ballots should be reported out by Tuesday night.

The county has still not seen any major issues at the polls.

3 p.m.

The deadline for handing in your absentee ballot in person was 3 p.m. Tuesday. Officials say if you didn't hand in that ballot or drop it at a drop-off location by now, or if you mailed it later than Oct. 27, you should vote in person.

If you vote in person on Nov. 3, your absentee ballot will automatically be canceled when it arrives.

2 p.m.

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon says the overall status report on polling places across the state as of 2 p.m. on Election Day is good traffic flow, no shortage of election judges, plenty of supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) and no reports of notable conflicts.

In Minneapolis, the city's Elections & Voter Services reported on Twitter that an estimated 36,534 voters had hit the polls by about noon Tuesday. The city had received 166,961 absentee ballots as of Monday, Nov. 2, making for a combined total turnout of 203,495 so far.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison said that Minneapolis' voter turnout as of 12:30 p.m. was at 76% - already beating 2018.

1:41 p.m.

State Attorney General Keith Ellison assured the public early Tuesday afternoon that so far, all reports suggest voting is running smoothly in Minnesota.

Ellison reminded Minnesotans on Twitter that they can "vote with confidence" if they haven't done so yet, and they have until 8 p.m. Tuesday to get in line.

"Great job, Minnesota—let’s keep it up," Ellison said in his tweet.

He also reminded voters that if they have any difficulty at their polling place they can call the Minnesota Secretary of State's hotline at 877-600-VOTE.

While other states have reported misleading robocalls and misinformation surrounding elections, Ellison said they have not heard of this in Minnesota so far.



11:15 a.m.

Hennepin County reported no major incidents on Election Day as of late morning.

Officials told media on a call that turnout numbers were relatively slow, which is not a surprise due to the high number of absentee ballots received.

County officials said they have had to explain the 100-foot boundary around polling places to some people. In one report of voter intimidation in Corcoran, a voter wearing campaign materials was asked to remove them.

If any ballot scanners go down, which is not unusual in a county the size of Hennepin, election judges will work to troubleshoot. If they can't find a fix, the city clerk will send out a replacement machine.

Minnesota Secretary of State Steve Simon announced that he will hold a videoconference to deliver updates on Election Day voting at 4 p.m.

8:30 a.m. 

Gov. Tim Walz met with reporters on the steps of the State Capitol to mark Election Day in Minnesota and across the nation. He immediately noted that Americans have been casting presidential ballots for 232 years, in good times and in bad.

"We've done them during the infancy of the republic, we have done them during wars, civil wars, we've done them during depressions, we've done them during civil rights unrest, always with the foundational principal that everyone's vote matters, everyone's vote counts," Walz reflected. 

The governor promised that state and local authorities will do everything in their power to protect Minnesotans' First Amendment rights to express their political will, but will not tolerate behavior that infringes on the rights of others, from voter intimidation to unrest that turns violent. 

"Just to be clear, anything that undermines our electoral system, anything that creates chaos is a disrespect to every single person who gave their life for our right to vote, and every single person who walked through the streets or across the Edmund Pettus Bridge to make sure everyone can vote," Walz said.

7 a.m.

It's Election Day in Minnesota, and the polls are open.

As Secretary of State Steve Simon noted on Monday, Nov. 3 isn't really our one day to vote - it's just our last day to vote.

In fact, Minnesotans have already turned out in large numbers to vote early and submit absentee ballots. As of Monday evening, 1,839,710 ballots had already been accepted across the state. That's 62% of the 2016 turnout. There were still 297,482 outstanding absentee ballots at that point - in other words, ballots that Minnesotans requested but had not yet turned in.

At this point, for those who haven't voted, there are a couple of options:

  • Vote in person. The polls are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Make sure you check on your polling place with the Minnesota Polling Place Finder. Even if you think you know where you usually go, it could have changed due to COVID-19. Expect COVID-19 prevention measures including masks, sanitizer and 6 feet between each person waiting in line. If you are in line by 8 p.m., your ballot will be counted - even if you have to wait until past 8 p.m. to actually vote.
  • Turn in your absentee ballot by hand. You can do this at the county election office that issued it, or you can bring it to a ballot drop-off location. All of those options are outlined here. The deadline for turning in an absentee ballot is 3 p.m. - five hours earlier than the deadline for in-person voting.

Those voting in person should know their rights and expect a safe and secure polling location on Tuesday, according to Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison. Voter intimidation and harassment are illegal, and should be immediately reported to the Minnesota Secretary of State’s office at 877-600-VOTE.  

Voters can register to vote at the poll, by bringing in proof of identity and address, or having another registered voter in your precinct vouch for them. Options for proving identity are listed here.

Secretary of State Steve Simon said on Monday that he expects Minnesota may break its modern-day voting record of 77% in 2008 - and it's even possible that the state's 1950s all-time record of 80% could be beat.

Find all the information you need in our KARE 11 Voter Guide for Minnesota and Wisconsin. Our Voter's Toolkit has answers to many other questions about voting rights, the Electoral College and more. KARE 11 will also track election results as they come in, both on-air and online.

Our KARE to Vote Team is digging into your questions for stories on-air and online. Text your questions, or any issues you see at your polling place, to 763-797-7215.