Minneapolis fell well behind its civic twin in reporting election results Tuesday night, reporting none of its precinct results in most legislative and all school races more than two hours after the polls closed.

In contrast, most St. Paul legislative districts were reporting 70 percent or more of their precincts at the same point.

Minneapolis elections officials didn't immediately return calls or e-mails about the lag. City spokesman Matt Laible attributed the delay to counting of "a ton" of absentee ballots. He did not have an explanation for why that didn't cause similar delays in St. Paul.

He said elections officials in Minneapolis were waiting to send results to Hennepin County for posting until all absentee ballots were counted. "They're trying to get it done as soon as possible," Laible said.

In some precincts, scanners were unable to read completed ballots, and in at least one precinct, a replacement scanner didn't do the job as well. City Council Member Cam Gordon, who chairs the Election Committee, said his understanding is that somewhat under 2,000 ballots were affected. Laible said that the problem was thought to be an issue with how ballots were printed.

In 2009, the city's need to hand count ranked-choice ballots for lack of automatic tabulating equipment delayed some results for two weeks.

Steve Brandt • 612-673-4438

Twitter: @brandtstrib