Town Talk: Election changes in New Ulm

The 2018 election season is in full swing. Local voters will notice some changes when they come to vote in the Primary and General elections this year. Brown County purchased new voting equipment for the 4 wards and the City of New Ulm has reduced the number of polling places from eight to four.

Ward 1, Precincts 1 and 2 polling places were the United Church of Christ and Redeemer Lutheran Church. All voters in Ward 1 will now vote at Redeemer Lutheran, 700 South Broadway Street.

Ward 2, Precincts 1 and 2 polling places included St. Paul’s Church and the lower level of the New Ulm Community Center. All voters in Ward 2 will now vote at the Community Center. The polling place will be set up in the meeting rooms (upper level), 600 North German Street.

Ward 3, Precinct 1 and 2 voters polling places were the New Ulm Medical Center and the New Ulm Civic Center. All Ward 3 voters will now vote at the New Ulm Civic Center. Voting will take place in the meeting room on the 2nd floor, 1212 North Franklin Street.

Ward 4, Precincts 1 and 2 polling places included the First Baptist Church and the New Ulm Recreation Center. The polling place for all Ward 4 voters will now be at the Harman Park Shelter, 101 North Garden Street.

Once in the polling place voters will notice the new e-poll books. A registered voter will no longer sign in on a paper roster. An election judge will find your name in the e-poll book and print a receipt for each voter to sign. Voters that are not registered in their ward before the election will no longer need to fill out any paperwork but will, with the help of an election judge, answer questions on the e-poll book to register. Once the registration is complete 2 receipts will print for the voter to sign, one for the registration and one for the roster.

After a voter signs their receipt they will continue through the same process they have completed in the past. A voter will receive a paper ballot and be directed to a voting booth where they will fill in ovals for their choices. When complete the voter will insert their ballot into the new ballot counter. The ballot counter is similar to the machine used in the past but is more user friendly when errors are encountered. After the ballot counter accepts the ballot the voter will be offered their “I Voted” sticker before leaving the polling place.

City and county staff are working hard to ensure that each citizen has a positive experience at the polls despite the changes in location and technology.

Voters can pre-register until July 24, 2018 for the primary election on August 14, 2018. The deadline to pre-register for the general election is October 16, 2018. The general election will take place on November 6, 2018. Voters that do not pre-register will still be able to register at their polling place on the day of the election.