In this Minneapolis precinct, you could cast votes with a fishing pole

  • Updated: November 13, 2012 - 12:46 PM
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During redistricting, computer software drew a line across Lake Calhoun creating a precinct entirely in the lake. Needless to say, there are no registered voters in Minneapolis Ward 10, Precinct 3B.

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Any voter who plans to move into Minneapolis Ward 10, Precinct 3B, had better have a houseboat.

Intrigued by the lack of results posted after Tuesday's election for that precinct, a reporter inquired of City Clerk Casey Carl where they were. Carl pointed to the redistricted precinct map -- which shows 3B lying entirely in the east half of Lake Calhoun.

So why assign a precinct to a lake? "It's the unintentional result of a programming error made in drawing new ward boundary lines during the redistricting process," Carl said in an e-mail.

Barry Clegg, who chairs the line-drawing Charter Commission elaborated that the software "could not draw the line around the edge of the lake without putting a census block in the wrong ward; it would just connect along the shortest distance between two points, which meant a line across the lake."

That was supposed to be cleaned up for the final map, Clegg added, but never was.

So far, there's nobody registered to vote in the precinct, a situation that's not likely to change unless Minne, the lake monster art piece that's been shuttling among city lakes, is shifted to Calhoun.

But at least there's one precinct out there where there's no waiting in line to vote.

STEVE BRANDT

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