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Don't forget to vote: Tuesday is Primary Election Day

Direct voting is now open at the Becker County Courthouse, which allows voters to feed their ballot directly into secure counting machines – just like at the polling places on election day.

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Restrictive voting laws have been passed in several states in 2021.
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DETROIT LAKES — It’s summertime and the livin’ is easy, but don’t forget to vote on Tuesday – it’s Primary Election Day in Minnesota, and Becker County residents will vote on candidates for the county board as well as the State Legislature.

Direct voting is now open at the Becker County Courthouse, which allows voters to feed their ballot directly into secure counting machines – just like at the polling places on election day.

By state law, direct voting is allowed seven days prior to an election, according to Becker County Election Coordinator Kim Frederickson.

The courthouse will also be open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday for absentee voting at the Auditor-Treasurer's Office, and the courthouse will be open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday for absentee voting, Frederickson said.

On Primary Election Day Tuesday, only those voters who live in the 16 mail-in ballot precincts can vote at the courthouse, because that is their official polling place. Everyone else in the county has to vote at their polling place on Election Day.

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Sample ballots are available at the courthouse and at polling places, and even the mail-in ballot precincts have sample ballots posted at their town halls, she said.

Becker County recently mailed out postal verification cards to all registered voters, and more than 1,000 came back for having a wrong address or a wrong post office box.

No need for alarm, she said. Residents who didn’t get one will easily be able to update their mailing address at the polling place where they vote. “They are registered voters, voting won’t be a problem, we just need a good mailing address for them,” Frederickson said.

Two of the five Becker County Board seats are up for election this year: In Becker County District 1, Erica Jepson , Craig Hall and Tim Clements are on the ballot.

District 1 covers most of eastern Becker County, and is represented by longtime Commissioner Larry Knutson, who is not running for reelection this year.

In Becker County District 2, incumbent Commissioner Ben Grimsley is being challenged by Steve Walz , David Meyer and Darin Halvorson .

District 2 is a city district made up mostly of Detroit Lakes wards 2 and 3.

The top two vote-getters in each race will advance to face off in the General Election in November. Both seats are four-year terms.

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The other three commissioner seats, held by John Okeson, Barry Nelson and Richard Vareberg, are not on the ballot this year.

Legislative primaries are different in that only the top vote-getter from each political party advances to the General Election Nov. 8: There are a number of contested races in the area – all involving the Republican Party candidates – including Senate District 5 , House District 5B, Senate District 4 and Senate District 9 . There is also a Democratic Party primary in the 7th Congressional District.

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