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2018 election: Correct ballots have been mailed

Wadena County election coordinator Joy Weyer informed the Wadena County Commissioners Tuesday, Oct. 30 that a ballot error is being resolved.

When residents of Shell River Township and the city of Nimrod opened their ballots Oct. 20, many knew there was an error. Their ballots contained candidates from other precincts.

"It was human error," Weyer said.

The vendor creating the ballots was off by a number, resulting in the wrong ballots being mailed to two of the three mail-in precincts in the county.

Weyer said with the Auditor Judy Taves out sick Monday and Tuesday of that week, the correct ballots were not able to be brought to a judge for approval until Wednesday, Oct. 24. Some residents from that precinct noted they received their ballots Friday, Oct. 26.

Weyer said the hope was the voters threw out the first ballot and will just send back the correct ballot.

Weyer told the board the process will take longer with two ballots potentially coming in. She shared that there are 161 voters in Shell River and 45 in Nimrod that received these ballots by mail. If both ballots are submitted, the work of reviewing those ballots will take extra time and won't be started until after 8 p.m. Nov. 6.

"It's going to be time consuming," Weyer said.

Weyer said this particular vendor had never had an error like this before. County auditor candidate Brian Hagen was part of the public in attendance and he asked if the vendor would be paying for the added expenses of this error. Weyer said she had not asked that question yet as she was busy making sure everything was prepared for the election. She said that would be a question to ask following the election. Taves did not attend the meeting.

Those receiving these ballots can also decide to come to the courthouse to vote through election day including Saturday, according to Weyer.

Weyer noted that early voting has been going well with about 900 ballots received so far. Along with that, the election team is busy testing the voting equipment.

Commission chair Sheldon Monson asked Weyer if the election department needed extra help in this week leading up to the election. Weyer said additional help was needed in paying bills. Human resources director Curt Kreklau said they can accommodate some of those needs with some temporary help.

Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 6.