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Absentee ballots rolling in

Staff photo by Fritz Busch Brown County Auditor/Treasurer Jean Prochniak stands next to general election voting ballots, a voting booth and related information outside the Brown County Auditor/Treasurer’s (AT) Office. The AT office is the voting location for all township voters and the cities of Hanska, Evan and Cobden for the 2020 General Election.

BROWN COUNTY — Absentee ballots continue to roll into the Brown County Auditor/Treasurer’s (AT) Office.

“The world sure changed in 2020. Elections this year are no different,” said Brown County AT Jean Prochniak.

All Brown County township voters and the cities of Hanska, Cobdan and Evan are voting by mail.

The Brown County AT office is the official voting location for township voters and those living in Hanska, Cobden, and Evan.

“We encourage voters to cast their ballot as soon as possible and return them by mail or use the Law Enforcement Center (LEC) drop box,” said Prochniak.

“By doing so, any issues that could arise with ballots can be corrected,” said Prochniak. “If there is a ballot mistake and we can ID the voter, we’ll call them to correct the mistake.”

Voters are able to know prior to the general election if their ballot has been accepted by visiting www.mnvotes.org.

Voters can check on their ballot status by visiting www.co.brown.mn.us/election and clicking on Track My Absentee or Mail Ballot.

Prochniak said voters should know that all voted ballots need to be inserted in the envelopes contained in the mailing sent to voters.

“We’re working tirelessly to ensure that all votes are counted,” said Prochniak. “Voters should do their part as well. Make sure a ballot is returned in the barcoded envelope and that it has been signed, just as they would sign a polling place roster.”

Prochniak said a steady stream of voters began voting when their property taxes came due in the middle of October.

As of Thursday, 57% of Brown County absentee ballots (5,356 of 9.329) have been returned.

Ward 4 in New Ulm has the highest county percentage of returned ballots, 72%. Following are New Ulm Ward 1 69%, Ward 3 68% and Ward 2 67%.

In Sleepy Eye, 67% of absentee ballots have been returned, 61% in Springfield.

Prochniak said she hopes voters don’t get too “wrapped up in national media reports about absentee ballot issues.”

“We have lots of good people working on the election in Brown County,” said Prochniak.

Voters are able to register to vote on Election Day at polling places. To do so, bring a valid Minnesota driver’s license, learner’s permit or ID; or a receipt for any of them.

In addition, voters must bring a photo ID and document with their current name and address. Approved photo IDs include a driver’s license, state ID or learner’s permit by any state, a U.S. Passport, U.S. military or Veteran ID, tribal ID with name, signature or photo, Minnesota university, college or technical college ID or a Minnesota high school ID.

Approved documents with voter’s name and address which can be shown on an electronic device, including bills, accounts or start-of-service statements due or dated within 30 days of the election for phone, TV, internet, solid waste, sewer, electric, gas, water, banking, credit card, rent, mortgage, residential lease or rent agreement valid through Election Day or a current student fee statement.

For more information, visit https://www.co.brown.mn.us/elections; mnvotes.org or call 1-877-600-VOTE.

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

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