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Absentee ballots available for Willmar special election

WILLMAR — Absentee voting begins Monday in the special election to fill a vacant Willmar City Council seat.

The election is only for residents in Ward 4, who will be choosing a replacement for Doug Reese. The longtime city councilman resigned after he was elected in November to the Kandiyohi County Board of Commissioners.

Jay Lawton and Audrey Nelsen are running for the City Council seat.

Absentee ballots are available from 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Willmar City Office for individuals who will not be able to cast votes at the polls on Feb. 12.

Absentee voting will also be available from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 9, at the city office, according to Willmar City Clerk Kevin Halliday.

On Feb. 12 the polls will be open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. in Ward 4

Voting locations include: Precinct 1 – First Baptist Church, Precinct 2 – Calvary Lutheran Church, and Precinct 3 – Redeemer Lutheran Church.

Because special elections for a single position usually do not attract a large number of voters, Halliday said he did not use the normal formula for calculating the number of ballots to print.

He said 400 ballots were printed for each precinct for a total of 1,200 ballots.

If this were a normal election there would have been about 3,000 ballots printed for Ward 4.

Halliday said he made a “best guess” to determine the ballot count.

If election judges run out on Election Day, photocopies will be made to ensure everyone gets to vote, said Halliday. Those ballots, however, would have to be hand-counted because the scanning machine would reject them, he said.

Carolyn Lange

A reporter for more than 30 years, Carolyn Lange covers regional news with the West Central Tribune.

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