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Cass County Board: 2018 election results reporting an improvement over two years ago

The Cass County courthouse in Walker, MN. Brainerd Dispatch file photo

WALKER—Naming former Auditor-Treasurer Sharon Anderson as election administrator and having her focus all her attention on organizing the county's election process paid off this November.

Cass County moved from being one of the last to report election results to the state in 2016 to being fifth of 87 counties, with all election results posted to the state this year at 9:53 p.m.

She reported to the county board Thursday, Dec. 6, that even when a precinct had trouble transmitting their results to the county's central office in Walker election night, that precinct's election judges only had to drive to a neighboring precinct to submit their results, not all the way to Walker.

In Cass 72.6 percent of eligible voters voted this November. Of those, 42.3 percent voted by mailed or absentee ballots. There are 45 mail ballot precincts of the total 72 precincts in the county.

By comparison, the state average voter turnout of registered voters this year was 73.9 percent, Anderson said.

Of the 14,092 votes cast in Cass County this November, 980 newly registered on Election Day.

There were 2.8 percent of ballots or 170, which were rejected. About a third were mailed ballots received too late to count. Another third had a flaw in witness signatures and arrived too late to send back to get corrected, Anderson said.

The county had 20 military and overseas voters cast ballots in this election.

In other election matters Tuesday, Anderson obtained board approval to designate polling places for the county's unorganized townships and to dispose by electronic recycling five of the county's old AutoMark voting devices.

As more townships have moved to mail ballots, the county has more spare machines than needed for repair parts, she said. The 12-year-old machines have no resale market, she added.

The board authorized Anderson to contract and to charge up to $5,000 each for the county to process school referendum elections if they are held as proposed in Pillager and in Pine River-Backus School Districts in 2019.