MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The Minnesota Secretary of State says Minnesota could have the highest voter turnout in the country.

Steve Simon says, so far, more than 3.2 million Minnesotans voted in the election. That’s out of roughly 4.1 million eligible voters. There were close to a quarter of a million absentee ballots still outstanding.

“For a variety of reasons that number will never be zero and the actual number is probably considerably less,” he said.

He said the large number could include voters who requested an absentee ballot but changed their mind and instead voted in person. After an 8th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last week that ballots had to be received by 8 p.m. on Election Day, Simon said the votes will be counted but they will be segregated.

“They had us set aside a pile of ballots so that a presidential candidate could seek to invalidate those ballots,” Simon said.

Simon said there had been no litigation in Minnesota as of Wednesday afternoon. Voter turnout is also on track to break records. Simon said Wednesday that the voter turnout with the state’s eligble voters had already surpassed the roughly 75% voter turnout in 2016.

Ballots were still being counted in Hennepin County in the afternoon. The City of Minneapolis set a new voter record with an estimate of more than 237,000 ballots cast in the city, smashing the more than 219,000 from 2016.

“Because of everything that has been going on in the city … everybody is impacted, and we’ve been impacted directly and we want a change,” Akedia Jefferson, of Minneapolis, said.

Simon said that it’s still too early to say if Minnesota will have the highest voter turnout, but asked people to be patient as the process takes its time.

Simon tells us a presidential candidate is able to request a recount at the government’s expense if the votes are within one-quarter of 1% difference. But he did say any candidate is allowed to ask for a recount if they handle the expense.

Kate Raddatz

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