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County Commissioner special primary election reminders

By Scott Felten

Mower County Auditor/Treasurer

The Special Primary Election for the Mower County District 1 County Commissioner vacancy will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 9.

The vacancy occurred when Commissioner Tim Gabrielson passed away on Nov. 10 and the County Board approved holding a special election to fill the vacancy on Nov. 24.  Seven individuals filed for the office so a special primary election is necessary to narrow the field down to two candidates. The two candidates receiving the most votes in the special primary election will advance to the special general election on Tuesday, April 13, 2021.

The candidates are: Ric Berg, Tim Duren, Laura Helle, Arnie Johnson, Mark Lang, Michael Langstaff, and John Mueller.

Absentee Voting

Absentee voting is available now through Monday, Feb. 8 for the primary election at the Auditor-Treasurer’s office in the Mower County Government Center located at 201 First Street NE in Austin.  Regular office hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday.

The Auditor-Treasurer’s office will also be open for absentee voting at 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., on Saturday and at 5 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 8.

Because of how close Election Day is, any voter wanting to absentee vote is strongly encouraged to do so in-person at the Auditor-Treasurer’s office, rather than through the mail.  There is not enough time to mail out absentee ballots and ensure that they are received back in time to be counted.

The deadline to drop off a completed absentee ballot is 3 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 9.

Who Can Vote

in the Special Election?

Only voters living in Commissioner District 1 will vote in the special elections.  District 1 includes the townships of Lansing, Red Rock, Udolpho, and Waltham; and also includes the cities of Brownsdale, Mapleview, Waltham, and the 1st Ward, 1st Precinct of the City of Austin.

City of Austin voters in Ward 1 Precinct 1 will vote at Austin City Hall.

City of Brownsdale voters and Red Rock Township voters will vote at the Brownsdale Fire Hall.

City of Waltham voters will vote at the Waltham Area Government Center.

Lansing Township voters will vote at the Lansing Township Hall.

The City of Mapleview, Udolpho Township, and Waltham Township are mail ballot precincts and registered voters were mailed ballots previously. To ensure their ballots are received timely, voters in mail ballot precincts are encouraged to return their completed ballot in-person, or they can come into the Auditor-Treasurer’s office with the ballot they received to vote “in-person.” The deadline for voters in these mail ballot precincts to drop off their ballot is 8 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 9.

Other Voting Reminders

Absentee ballots and mail ballots once again require a witness to sign the signature envelope.  The witness requirement was waived only for 2020 elections due to COVID-19.

On Election Day, voting hours will be from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at polling places.  Only voters in mail ballot precincts can vote at the Auditor-Treasurer’s office on Election Day.

For questions or more information, please contact the Mower County Auditor-Treasurer’s Office at 507-437-9535, or email elections@co.mower.mn.us.