Reporter's Notebook: News and notes from Brainerd Dispatch Election Day coverage
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
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 StaffordDIY 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 KohlsHappy 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 LeeFree 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 PerkinsTurkeys, 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 KrausVoters 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 RichardsonComic 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
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 BourkeSnow 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 KrausVote 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 LagardeTongue-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 LeeFood for thought
Each election night, staff members bring in homemade treats to share at the historic Crow Wing County courthouse. -- Frank LeeA 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 LeeA 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.