City prepares for early primary

Published 7:02 am Monday, April 5, 2010

Austin City Council on Monday will take the routine step of providing for a primary election later this year, but they’ll be doing so a bit earlier than usual.

That’s because Gov. Tim Pawlenty last month signed into law a bill that moves primary elections from their traditional time slot in mid-September up to the second week of August.

The move was made in part to comply with a new federal law and in part to help give overseas Minnesotans enough time to cast their ballots.

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City administrative assistant Jeanne Howatt said the new Aug. 10 election date hasn’t been too much of a headache, but it does mean the city has to work quicker on preparing ballots, publishing notices and readying polling places.

And local candidates wanting to file for office should take note, too: The new primary date means the filing period now runs from May 18 to June 1, as opposed to July 6 to July 20 before.

The general election will remain on the traditional first Tuesday of November, which this year is Nov. 2.

City offices up for election in 2010

Mayor — two-year term (position currently held by Tom Stiehm)

Council member at-large — two-year term (Janet Anderson)

First Ward council member — four-year term (Jeff Austin)

Second Ward council member — four-year term (Dick Pacholl)

Third Ward council member — four year term (John Martin)

Two utility board comissioners —four-year terms (positions currently held by Ron Felten and Jeanne Sheehan)