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Minnesota ballot tracking website restored after going down

MINNEAPOLIS — A website that Minnesotans can use to track their absentee ballots went down for more than an hour Saturday morning, along with other parts of the state’s online voter registration system, with just three days to go until the Nov. 3 election.

The problem was an apparent hardware issue impacting the online tools for voters and some functionality in the Statewide Voter Registration System, said Risikat Adesaogun, a spokeswoman for Secretary of State Steve Simon. But she said the systems had been restored by around 10:15 a.m.

The ballot tracking site, mnvotes.org/track, has seen an surge of use as a record number of Minnesotans vote early this year. But those looking Saturday morning to check whether their ballot had been received and counted encountered an error message until the problem was solved.

Lines formed at a number of early voting centers on Saturday morning as Minnesotans heeded the call to drop off their absentee ballots in person, instead of mailing them in; or to vote early; or to vote in person Tuesday following a federal court ruling Thursday that left the door open to challenges of the validity of mail-in ballots that arrive after Election Day, even if they are postmarked by Tuesday.