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2018 election: Wrong ballots mailed to 2 Wadena County precincts

Ballots sent to mail-in precincts in Shell River Township and the City of Nimrod in Wadena County on Saturday contained incorrect information. Some jurisdictions in Minnesota hold elections by mail instead of voting at polling places. In Wadena C...

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A sample ballot for the city of Nimrod is shown on the Secretary of State website. Michael Johnson/Pioneer Journal

Ballots sent to mail-in precincts in Shell River Township and the City of Nimrod in Wadena County on Saturday contained incorrect information.

Some jurisdictions in Minnesota hold elections by mail instead of voting at polling places. In Wadena County, that includes Shell River Township, the City of Nimrod and the City of Aldrich. Joy Weyer, Wadena County election coordinator, said the Aldrich ballot is correct, but the other two contained incorrect information. The problem is now being resolved.

Weyer said the vendor used the wrong number in creating the ballots and the result was voters in Nimrod were being asked to vote for candidates in Menahga, while voters in Shell River were voting for Sebeka candidates.

Weyer started getting emails Saturday, shortly after the ballots were mailed and Monday, callers wondered where the mix up was.

Weyer was apologetic for the error, but had a plan to resolve it. Once authorized by the county auditor, replacement ballots will be going out in the mail. Weyer was unsure when that authorization would happen as the county auditor was not in on Monday.

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For those that send in the first wrong ballot, the county will use portions of the original ballot and the replacement ballot to acquire the correct voting results. Two election judges will then review the ballots to confirm the votes.

"It's going to be a lot more work on our part," Weyer said. About 45 registered voters are in Nimrod and another 161 registered to vote in Shell River.

If dealing with two ballots is a headache you want to avoid, voters also have the option to throw out the mailed ballots and come into the Wadena County Courthouse to vote absentee during business hours up to the day before election day.

Weyer did not have an exact idea of when the replacement ballots would be approved and sent out, but planned to let the public know when that was happening.

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