MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Minnesota Secretary of State's Office says a staff member displayed a “serious lapse in judgment” Tuesday by directing users of its voter information guide to a partisan website after the system crashed.

The state's pollfinder portal is meant to help residents find out where to vote. When the system became overloaded on Tuesday morning, the webpage sent visitors to external sites that were not part of the backup plan, Secretary of State Steve Simon said.

One of the sites was boldprogressives.org, the Pioneer Press reported.

In case of technical issues, voters are supposed to be redirected to Google's nonpartisan Voting Information Project, Simon said. The partisan link was active for about 17 minutes, he said.

“Anyone who knows me knows that I place the highest possible value on the nonpartisanship of this office, and I deeply regret the error,” Simon said.

Simon's statement came after Republicans sharply criticized the partisan redirection.

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