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Majority of Crow Wing County voters support amendment questions

■ Marriage and voter ID questions pass in Crow Wing County

Marriage and voter ID amendment questions may have died at the state level, but they won majority support in Crow Wing County.

Crow Wing County voters approved of the measure to limit marriage to a man and a woman by a 60 percent to 40 percent margin with 20,954 yes votes to 13,770 no votes. There were an estimated 343 blank votes.

The amendment to require a photo ID to vote was much closer with 55 percent of voters in favor. There were 19,156 yes votes cast compared to 15,493 against with an estimated 418 blank votes.

The marriage amendment

The marriage amendment carried all Baxter precincts with the largest margin from Baxter Precinct 2W with 62 percent voting yes compared to 37 percent voting no.

No votes were dominant in the county’s most populous city. A majority of no votes were cast in Brainerd’s Ward 1 Precinct 1, Ward 2 Precinct 2, Ward 3 Precinct 1 and both Ward 4 Precincts.

Margins were often close, with the difference measured in nine to 52 votes. But the tightest precinct came in Ward 4 Precinct 2 with 268 voters in favor and 272 against.

Crosby was an indication of how close votes could be with the city split nearly in half with 209 votes in favor of the amendment and 200 voting no. Ironton and Riverton were also evenly split.

Twenty-two precincts out of 64 had yes votes accounting for 60 percent or less of the vote. Ten precincts had 70 percent or more in favor of the amendment. Some of those precincts were small such as Gail Lake with 77 percent of its 44 voters in favor. The amendment’s greatest support came from Dean Lake Township with 80 percent of its 59 voters in favor. Eighty-two percent of voters in Fort Ripley supported the amendment with 34 people voting in the city’s precinct.

Photo ID amendment

The photo ID amendment to require a valid photo identification to vote carried in 47 of 64 precincts, but the margins were often close.

Thirty-two of the precincts had less than 55 percent of the vote in favor of the amendment. Ten precincts had more votes against the amendment than for it — Brainerd Ward 1 Precinct 1, Ward 2 Precinct 2, Ward 3 Precinct 1, Ward 4 Precinct 2, Crosby Precinct 2, Ironton and the townships of Little Pine, Rabbit, Ross Lake and Wolford.

Another nine precincts were nearly split in half. The largest of them — Brainerd’s Ward 3 Precinct 2 — had 415 votes for and 415 votes against the requirement. That scenario was closely repeated in, Ward 3 Precinct 3, Ward 4 Precinct 1, Crosby Precinct 1, Cuyuna, Fort Ripley and Nokay Lake Township. Others like Rabbit Lake Township — with 108 votes against and 105 votes in favor — continued to show how closely divided Crow Wing County voters were over this issue.

Fifteen precincts had voter approval of 60 percent or more.

Some of the amendment’s strongest supporters were in the northeastern corner of the county where 77 percent of Gail Lake Township residents supported the amendment for the highest percentage in the county. Support was also high from neighboring Timothy Township at 65 percent with 70 percent of voters in the city of Manhattan Beach in favor. Other supporters were just south of Brainerd and Baxter with 71 percent of Crow Wing Township Precinct 2 voters in favor of the photo ID.

Renee Richardson
Richardson is a Pacelli High School graduate from Austin, Minn., who earned an applied science degree from the University of Minnesota, Waseca, with an emphasis in horse management. She worked extensively in the resort industry. She received an associate’s degree from Central Lakes College, where she was editor of the Westbank Journal student newspaper, as well as a summer intern at the Dispatch. She graduated from St. Cloud State University summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in mass communications and interned at the St. Cloud Times covering business while attending SCSU. She's been with the Brainerd Dispatch since 1996.
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