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No poll challengers, no equipment problems ---- voting is going smoothly in Becker County today

Voting has been steady in Becker County for the general election today, and there have been few if any problems with election equipment or polling places.

"It's almost eerily quiet," said Becker County Auditor-Treasurer Ryan Tangen at about 1:15 p.m.

"Things are going pretty well," he said. The county received new voting equipment in 2006, and Tangen is used to going out to polling places to troubleshoot when problems arise.

But today, they never arose.

On a normal election day, he gets up at 6 a.m. and receives the first phone call at home before 6:30 a.m.

"Today, I didn't get any calls," he said, "I had to go into work early because I though maybe my phone wasn't working."

The election equipment is complicated, Tangen said, "and a lot of little things cause issues."

But the bugs are mostly worked out, and with a full complement of veteran election judges on hand, the county is enjoying a smooth general election today.

There aren't any problems with poll watchers -- unlike the Twin Cities area, where some election judges have had to confront overly-aggressive poll watchers who are wrongfully challenging some voters, according to Minnesota Public Radio.

"There are no challengers here that I have heard about," Tangen said.

Becker County set voting records in 2008, with turnout approaching 92 percent, but those lofty numbers are not likely to be reached today, Tangen said, since it is an off-year presidential election with no U.S. Senate seats on the line in Minnesota.

"Absentee balloting is down compared to the 2008 general election," Tangen said. "It's running about 60 percent of what it was before."

Becker County usually sees voter turnout in the high 80 percent to low 90 percent range, and Tangen expects that to hold true today as well.

"Just make sure to get out and vote today," Tangen said.

Election results will start showing up on the county website shortly after the polls close at 8 p.m., Tangen said.

DL-Online will post local and statewide election results as soon as they become available, with a live feed from the Minnesota Secretary of State's Office.

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