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Early voting challenged Hubbard County auditor's office

County Auditor Kay Rave informed the Hubbard County Commissioners at last week's county board meeting that in 2012, during the last Presidential Election, there were 1,483 absentee and mail-in ballots issued. In this 2016 election, Hubbard County saw 2,689 absentee and mail-in ballots.

"I don't ever see this going down. We did not have the staff to adequately handle it and I think most of the 87 counties probably saw the same thing," Rave said. "We knew we'd have increased numbers but the extent we saw was unreal. How do you prepare for something that is unknown? This was the first year that we could start processing seven days prior and open that up to early voting. I think we handled it the best we could but we scrambled."

Minnesota voters were also allowed to change their ballot. If they had wished to do so, the auditor's office would have had to find the application, find the ballot, spoil the ballot, then re-issue a new ballot. They would not have done it in any other order, according to Rave. Hubbard County had zero requests to change the ballot or revote.

In other business, county commissioners did the following:

• Approved the low quote of $27,500 from Mantrap Roofing in Menahga for 2017 roofing of the two salt dome sheds.

• Approved the continuation of the contract with the current vendor for waste hauling as per the recommendation of Assistant County Engineer Jed Nordin, pending the county attorney's final review of the contract.

• Granted permission for Public Works Coordinator David Olsonawski to attend the NACE Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio from April 7-14, 2017.

• Discussed the three intersections that were included in the County Road Safety Plan for some federal money. The intersections are County Road 41 and Highway 71, County Roads 7 and 40 and County Roads 20 and 87. The application was submitted and Hubbard County received $315,000 of federal money to redo the intersections. Public Works Highway Department re-evaluated the intersections and decided it would take a lot more county dollars to complete the projects.

• Approved the proposed stipulation of settlement related to Lucas Maves property on CSAH 28.

• Met with several new staff hired recently in the Social Services Department.

• Approved Social Services Tail Gating Policy.

• Approved the amendment to the Heartland Homes contract for semi-independent living services.

• Approved a resolution to support a Leech Lake River One Watershed, One Plan project.

• Approved the 2017 Computer Services POS Agreement with Tom Hankins & Northwoods Computer Services.

• Approved a purchase of services agreement renewal for medical examiner services with Ramsey County Medical Examiner.

• Approved payment of Heritage Living Center Disbursement #24 in the amount of $135,743.80.

• Scheduled a public hearing for proposed Amendment #4, Subdivision Ordinance for Thursday, Dec. 8 at 9:05 a.m.

The next Hubbard County Board meeting is scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 8 at 9 a.m.