Elections get new wrinkles this year

Staff photo by Fritz Busch Brown County Auditor-Treasurer Jean Prochniak poses with a new election poll pad at election judge training in the Brown County Law Enforcement Center (LEC) training room July 9.

NEW ULM — Brown County residents may encounter some new wrinkles when they vote this fall.

Primary election ballots are being mailed to voters in mail ballot precincts including Prairieville, Sigel and Home Townships, plus Evan and Cobden residents. All non-metropolitan area townships and cities with less than 400 registered voters can choose to hold elections by mail.

If you move to a mail ballot precinct close to Election Day and update your new address at least 21 days before the election, election officials will automatically send you a ballot by mail.

Otherwise, residents need to apply to have a ballot mailed to their new address. Election officials will send them a registration application with ballot materials. Residents can drop off ballots at the Brown County Auditor-Treasurer’s (A-T) Office, or register and vote in person.

Ballots must be delivered to the A-T office by 8 p.m. on Election Day.

Residents are encouraged to register before Election Day to save time at polling places.

Other important election dates:

• Primary Election absentee ballots have been available since June 29. The last day to pre-register for the Primary Election (Tuesday, Aug. 14) is Tuesday, July 24.

• General Election ballots will be mailed to voters in mail ballot precincts from Sept. 21 through Oct. 23.

• General Election absentee ballots will be available beginning Friday, Sept. 21.

• Tuesday, Oct. 16 is the last day for General Election pre-registration. Voters can register on Election Day.

• The Brown County A-T Office is open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for absentee voting.

• General Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Residents not registered to vote or not registered at their current address are asked to complete a Minnesota Voters Registration Application on a table near the A-T office at the Brown County Courthouse. Absentee ballot applications are also available at the table.

At polling places on Primary Election and Election Day, voters will notice Poll Pads (iPad-based electronic poll books) in place of paper-based poll books. Voters must bring proof of residence, verifiable by a valid driver’s license.

Brown County A-T Jean Prochniak is wrapping up election judge training this week in the Brown County Law Enforcement Center Training Room.

Election judges are temporary, paid or volunteer employees of local election officials, trained to handle all aspects of voting at polling places.

For more information, visit https://www.sos.state.mn.us/elections-voting/ and www.brown.mn.us/election.

Fritz Busch can be emailed at fbusch@nujournal.com.