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Several Swift County precincts use mail-in balloting

BENSON -- This will be the second election and the first presidential election in which mail-in ballots will be used in a majority of precincts in Swift County.

County Auditor Byron Giese said 1,700 voters in 18 precincts will be voting with mail-in ballots for the general election.

The county opted not to purchase electronic voting machines two years ago for all of the county's 31 precincts. Many of those precincts have fewer than 100 registered voters, said Giese, making the cost of the equipment and operations unfeasible.

As a result, mail-in ballots are used.

The ballots had been coming in a bit slowly through the mail to the auditor's office, he said. He anticipated "a whole lot more mail" by Tuesday.

Some voters, who may not trust their ballot will arrive safely via the U.S. Postal Service, are hand-delivering their ballots to the county office. The ballots can be brought to the auditor anytime before 8 p.m. Tuesday, the time the polls close.

Using mail-in ballots is "unique and it's fun, kind of," Giese said. "You get a little better idea of what kind of voter turnout you'll have."

Voters in those 18 precincts also have the option of voting in person at the county courthouse, said Giese. "They're more than welcome to show up on Election Day."

Two years ago, about 300 people used that option.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for 35 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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