Sections

Weather Forecast

Close

Reporter's Notebook: News and notes from Brainerd Dispatch Election Day coverage

: Voters stand in line Tuesday, Nov. 6, at the Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Baxter. According head election judge Darlene Swedin, the precinct, P-1E, was processing two voters every minute. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch1 / 8
Long Lake Township clerk Patsy Olson votes Tuesday, Nov. 6, at the Long Lake Town Hall. Olson sewed the dividers between the voting stations after the new building was completed. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch2 / 8
Here's the corrected copy: Oak Lawn precinct election judge Glow Bechard posts the flag at 7 a.m.Tuesday at the Oak Lawn Town Hall, opening the polls for voting. Steve Kohls / Brainerd Dispatch3 / 8
Poster at Central Lakes College offering free rides for students to vote. Chelsey Perkins / Brainerd Dispatch4 / 8
Sign at Central Lakes College offering free rides for students to vote. Chelsey Perkins / Brainerd Dispatch5 / 8
A silent auction of Christmas items line the way into the polling station at The Center in north Brainerd. Renee Richardson / Brainerd Dispatch6 / 8
Each election night, staff members bring in homemade treats to share at the historic Crow Wing County courthouse. Brainerd Dispatch / Frank Lee7 / 8
State Rep. Josh Heintzeman, the two-term representative from Nisswa, took time to greet voters before he sat down for breakfast with his family at 10 a.m. on Election Day at the McDonald’s in Brainerd. The Republican faces Dale Menk, DFL, in the race for District 10A. Frank Lee / Brainerd Dispatch8 / 8
Weather won’t stop the vote

Despite dreary weather Tuesday morning -- a mix of rain and snow with temperatures in the low 30s -- early reports at polling sites indicated a good initial turnout for the general election. -- Matt Erickson

The polls are now open

Crosby election officials started the day in enthusiastic fashion, counting down the seconds to 7 a.m., then waving the American flag in front of Crosby City Hall and proclaiming, “Hear ye, hear ye, the polls are open for voting!” -- Jim Stafford

DIY design in Long Lake Township

Patsy Olson, clerk in Long Lake Township, personally sewed the dividers between the voting booths at the new town hall in Long Lake Township. The dividing curtains feature an American theme of red, white and blue. -- Steve Kohls

Happy meal

State Rep. Josh Heintzeman, the two-term representative from Nisswa, took time to greet voters before he sat down for breakfast with his family at 10 a.m. on Election Day at the McDonald’s in Brainerd. The Republican faces Dale Menk, DFL, in the race for District 10A. -- Frank Lee

Free rides to the polls

Transportation is often cited as a reason people were unable to vote in elections. In Brainerd, taxi company Grab-A-Cab offered free rides for anyone in need within a 15-mile radius of the city. Owner Ronnie Schnichels said for those farther away, she had family members willing to help give rides, too. “We’ll do what we can to get people to the polls,” Schnichels said. “It’s very important.” -- Chelsey Perkins

Turkeys, not elephants or donkeys

When Sonja Larsen was on her way to vote Tuesday morning, she drove by a “batch of wild turkeys” along Interlachen Road, she reported in an email she shared with the Dispatch. -- Jennifer Kraus

Voters steady at The Center

By 3 p.m. nearly 260 voters put their ballots through the counter at The Center. Not to miss an opportunity as hundreds of people come through the doors, The Center had a silent auction of Christmas items set up in the front room leading to the polling place. The head election judge said the turnout was steady with predictions for a strong voter turnout at the end of the day. -- Renee Richardson

Comic relief

It’s been a long slog this election season filled with negativity, but Scott Goddard sought to relieve the pressure a bit Tuesday morning. The Crow Wing County sheriff candidate posted to his campaign’s Facebook page, sharing a compilation of his bloopers while recording videos over the past year. “No, no, no, no, no, I’m ad-libbing too much here, I’m going to get lost,” he said in one clip. -- Chelsey Perkins

Low turnout at Trinity Lutheran

About 250 voters came through Trinity Lutheran Church on South Sixth Street in Brainerd by 3 p.m. Jim Dwyer, head election judge at the church, said voter turnout seemed a little lower than normal, but it’s hard to tell when a big rush might come in. Earlier in the day, he said there was a line of voters waiting for their turn. Dwyer said the excitement of Election Day has kept him coming back as a judge for the past 10 or 12 years. “I enjoy watching the people come and vote, the excitement of being there. And then some people, they get so involved,” he said. -- Theresa Bourke

Snow on Election Day?

Bryan Howell, meteorologist intern for the National Weather Service in Duluth, did some research for the Brainerd Dispatch on the last time Brainerd had snow on Election Day. Howell said the last time was Nov. 7, 1995, where there was a trace of snow reported. Brainerd did see liquid precipitation in 2002 and 2003, when temps were around 33-34 degrees. -- Jennifer Kraus

Vote for me

Brainerd City Council member Gabe Johnson -- representing Ward 4 and running unopposed this election season -- gave an interesting take on Election Day over the twitterverse. “Voting is overrated,” Johnson wrote in a tweet at 11:38 a.m. on Nov. 6. “BUT (sic), if you do that kind of thing vote for me.” -- Gabriel Lagarde

Tongue-in-cheek

Proving that running for elected office may require a good sense of humor, state Rep. Ron Kresha posted a tweet just before Tuesday’s election that read: “After Nov 6, I will be offering  Laphroaig (whiskey) to friends and family … just to keep rancor and debate alive.” -- Frank Lee

Food for thought

Each election night, staff members bring in homemade treats to share at the historic Crow Wing County courthouse. -- Frank Lee

A familiar face

Crow Wing County Commissioner Paul Koering, who is not up for re-election, dropped by the county elections office Tuesday night while waiting for election results. -- Frank Lee

A reminder for our print customers -- newspaper delivery may be late Wednesday

In order to get as many of the Nov. 6 election results as possible into the print edition of Wednesday’s Brainerd Dispatch, our press will be running later than normal. Print customers should expect their paper to be delivered about two hours later than normal and all customers should have their paper by 8:30 a.m. Wednesday. The Dispatch’s website, www.brainerddispatch.com, will be posting updated election results throughout the night until all votes are in. Also, the Dispatch’s website, Facebook and Twitter pages will be updating throughout the day Tuesday with election stories, tidbits and videos. Follow along using #BDVotes and participate with the Dispatch via social media on Election Day.

This Reporter’s Notebook will be updated throughout the day. Check back at www.brainerddispatch.com for new updates.