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Voting well underway

By Staff | Oct 4, 2020

Let the voting begin.

This is becoming a very busy election season for the staff at the Faribault County Courthouse.

“Things are a lot different this year, with early voting and mail-in ballots for absentee voting,” says Jessica Blair, Faribault County Chief Deputy Auditor/Accountant. “People are a little confused, and I don’t blame them.”

Blair says absentee voting started on Sept. 18 and they have been busy with requests for ballots.

“The Secretary of State sent out letters and request forms for absentee ballots to all registered voters in the state,” she says. “This is their way to encourage voting.”

Faribault County has 11 precincts which already do all of their voting by mail-in ballots, and those people did not get the letter from the Secretary of State, since they already vote by mail.

So far, the county auditor’s office has sent out 1,029 absentee ballots and that does not count the ones for the 11 precincts that vote by mail-in ballot.

Blair explains there are several ways a resident of Faribault County can vote early.

“If they are a registered voter they can mail in the request form they received from the Secretary of State. It comes to our office and we will send them a ballot,” she says. “In addition, they can request a ballot be sent to them online from our website.”

In addition, a person can go to the courthouse in person and fill out the application form and get a ballot and vote right then and there or take it with them. Blair suggests people fill out the application form from the Secretary of State they received in the mail and bring it with them to the courthouse to save time.

The courthouse is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. In addition, the courthouse will be open on Saturday, Oct. 31, from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. for early voting purposes.

People have until Monday, Nov. 2, the day before the election, by 5 p.m., to cast an early ballot at the courthouse.

After you fill in your absentee ballot, you can mail it in to the auditor’s office, or take it there in person. There is even a dropbox for depositing ballots after business hours, located outside door A of the courthouse.

“Of course, all of our precincts, other than the 11 mail-in ones, will be having the same poll locations on election day that they had for the primary election in August,” Blair says.

She also says that persons with questions can call the auditor’s office at 507-526-6211, and the staff will help them.