MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (WCCO) — Voters have cast their ballots, but we still don’t know who will be the next mayor of Minneapolis.
Because of the city’s ranked-choice voting system, it might take all day on Wednesday for election officials to count ballots.
The tabulation process began bright and early on Wednesday morning at the Early Vote Center in downtown Minneapolis.
The process of ranked choice voting takes ballots through a series of rounds where the lowest ranked candidates are eliminated.
They will start with the mayoral office, then they will move on to several City Council seats, the Park and Recreation Board and Board of Estimate and Taxation seats.
Election officials will have to sift through a lot of ballots as Minneapolis saw more than 100,000 voters which translates to about a 43 percent overall turnout.
Those numbers reflect a 10 percent bump in voter turnout from 2013.
“I think it speaks to the competitiveness of the races. I think it also has something to do with some carry over from the 2016 Presidential Election, people are much more engaged, they are much more tuned in. They are very aware of local elections and the difference that local government can make in your day-to-day life,” said City Clerk Casey Carl.
As of Tuesday night, City Council Member Jacob Frey had the early lead, with 25 percent of first choice votes.
Tom Hoch, the former president of the Hennepin Theatre Trust, was just behind with 19 percent.
Incumbent Mayor Betsy Hodges was in third with 18 percent and Ray Dehn – a state representative – was in fourth with 17 percent.
It’s impossible to know exactly how long the tabulation will take for the remaining races.
Election officials do plan to complete tabulation and declare a winner in the mayor’s race on Wednesday, hopefully before the end of the business day.