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Polls busy in Becker County

Becker County flirted with 90 percent voter turnout in the general election Tuesday.

Of the 18,961 registered voters in the county, 17,038 of them cast a ballot Tuesday.

"Isn't that phenomenal?" asked County Auditor-Treasurer Ryan Tangen. "I don't know if that's a record or not, but it's got to be close."

The big numbers meant election workers had their hands full Tuesday in Becker County.

"It has been a very busy day," County Election Coordinator Renee Zok said Tuesday. "With our mail ballot precincts, a lot of people are coming into the courthouse to vote."

There are 11 rural precincts in Becker County that use mail balloting. They can vote by mail or go to the county courthouse, which serves as their precinct polling place.

The presidential election "seems to really have people interested in voting," Tangen said. "We didn't have nearly the numbers (voting at the courthouse on election day) two years ago."

Polling places across the county did a brisk business this general election, Zok said.

"From the precincts I've talked to, they've been very busy," Zok said. "Those that opened at 7 a.m. saw a big rush of people voting on their way to work."

"Voter turnout seems to be terrific," Tangen agreed.

Along with the big turnout was a big surge in people registering at the polls, Tangen said.

"The No. 1 question thus far has been what (identification) to use for election day registration," he said. "We have been delivering extra applications for registrations."

With the exception of problems with one AutoMark machine for voters with disabilities, there were no equipment problems Tuesday, Tangen said Tuesday afternoon.

"Everything seems to be going really smooth," he added. "We have a great set of election judges and employees at the courthouse."