Following approval by the county board, voters in Crow Wing County’s third largest population center will cast their ballots exclusively by mail this year due to the coronavirus pandemic.
There was no discussion at the board meeting Tuesday, April 28, on the matter affecting the First Assessment District, otherwise known as Unorganized Territory. It was one of several items on the county’s consent agenda, typically reserved for non-controversial items not expected to generate discussion among commissioners. All four commissioners in attendance at the April 21 committee of the whole meeting — excluding Commission Doug Houge, who was not present — indicated support of mail voting in Unorganized Territory following the recommendation of county elections head Deborah Erickson.
RELATED: Crow Wing's Unorganized Territory likely to vote by mail this year“I would recommend that you consider voting by mail for this election cycle,” Erickson said April 21. “I think that it will allow the voters confidence that their right to vote isn’t going to be impacted by their health concerns or other concerns they may have about going to a crowded polling location.”
The county board acts as the township board for the area north of Brainerd and Baxter, stretching from Woida Road north to Cinosam Road and east from the Crow Wing/Cass county line to Merrifield. It’s home to about 5,500 residents, 3,777 of which are registered voters.
Voting is typically spread across three precincts in Unorganized — the Red Precinct votes at Crow Wing Power, the White Precinct at Living Word North church and the Blue Precinct at The Church on Wise Road.
The approved resolution limits the change to the 2020 primary and general elections only. Eighteen voting precincts in Crow Wing County already vote exclusively by mail, including the Second Assessment District, the county’s other unorganized territory formerly known as Dean Lake Township. Some of those have voted by mail for more than 30 years, according to Erickson.