The Mower County Auditor/Treasurer’s Office reminds voters in the county that Tuesday, August 9th is the State Primary Election. On a primary ballot, a voter is only allowed to vote for candidates of one political party for the offices listed on the ballot. The voter cannot vote for candidates of different parties.
Mower County Auditor/Treasurer Scott Felten stated in a news release that unique to this year’s primary election is that on the back side of the state primary ballot will be the special general election for the vacancy in Minnesota Congressional District 1 of the U.S. House of Representatives. The vacancy was created when Representative Jim Hagedorn passed away in February. The top voter getter for each political party from the May 24 special primary election is listed on the ballot now.
As a result of redistricting earlier this year following the 2020 Census, voters in the cities of LeRoy and Racine, and voters in the townships of Bennington, Frankford, LeRoy, and Racine are now part of State Legislative District 26, while the rest of the cities and townships in Mower County are part of District 23. Therefore, primary ballots for voters in those six precincts will contain different offices to vote for compared to the ballot for the other precincts in the county.
City of Austin voters will vote at their regular polling locations in 2022. The Holiday Inn was used only in 2020 due to COVID-19 reasons. Voters in Austin Township, Lansing Township, and Frankford Township will vote at their township halls in 2022. These townships used mail balloting in 2020 due to COVID-19. Voters in Sargeant Township will return to in-person voting in 2022 after being mail ballot in 2018 and 2020. Racine Township voters will vote at the Racine United Methodist Church. Lodi Township voters will vote at City Hall in Adams in 2022 as their township hall in Taopi was damaged in the April tornado.
Felten reminds voters that absentee voting is available through Monday, August 8 at the Elections Office in the Mower County Government Center at 201 1st Street NE in Austin. You are asked to please enter the building through the public entrance on the northwest side of the building (near the law enforcement center). There is a public parking lot available at this entrance. The Elections Office is located just down the hall from the Mower County Auditor-Treasurer’s Office. Austin City Hall was used as the elections office in 2020 only because of COVID-19.
Absentee voting hours are 8:00 am-4:30 pm through Friday, August 5; 10:00 am-3:00 pm on Saturday, August 6; and 8:00 am-5:00 pm on Monday, August 8. On Election Day, voters must vote at their designated polling location.
Registered voters who live in mail ballot precincts were previously mailed a ballot for the primary election. Mail ballot voters are strongly encouraged to return their ballots in-person to the Elections Office in the Mower County Government Center rather than by mail to ensure the ballot is received by Election Day. Completed mail ballots must be dropped off by 8 pm on Election Day, August 9. Voters who live in mail ballot precincts are allowed to vote in–person at the Mower County Elections Office on Election Day, Tuesday, August 9 from 7 am – 8 pm, if they prefer. They can also vote during the same dates and times that absentee voters can vote at the Elections Office.
A person can register to vote on Election Day by bringing one proof of residence with them to their polling location. Acceptable proof includes an ID with current name and address, such as a valid MN driver’s license. Acceptable proof can also include a photo ID and a document with your current name and address – the photo ID can be a U.S. passport or a high school/college ID; and the document can be a bill dated within 30 days of the election for phone, TV, garbage, or utilities, or a bank or credit card statement, or a rent or mortgage statement. Another form of acceptable proof is to bring a registered voter from your precinct with you to the polling location to sign an oath confirming your address. This is known as ‘vouching’.
For elections related questions, please call the Mower County Auditor-Treasurer’s Office at 507-437-9535.