Confused about voting? Read thisWith the November 4 election just days away, Vicki Doehling’s phone has been ringing off the hook. As the Douglas County elections administrator, Doehling fields questions from the public regarding the election and its process.
By: Celeste Beam, Alexandria Echo Press
With the November 4 election just days away, Vicki Doehling’s phone has been ringing off the hook.
As the Douglas County elections administrator, Doehling fields questions from the public regarding the election and its process.
With a high voter turnout expected this year, the Echo Press asked Doehling to put together a list of the top 10 frequently asked voter questions.
For many of the answers, voters who have access to the Internet can log onto the Secretary of State Web site, where they can find a plethora of information. Some questions can be directed to the Douglas County Auditor’s Office at (320) 762-3077.
Here is Doehling’s list of questions and answers for this year’s election:
Q: Where do I vote?
A: To find out where your polling place is, either call the Douglas County Auditor’s Office at (320) 762-3077 or visit the Secretary of State Web site at www.sos.state.mn.us. Select the “Where do I vote? – Find your polling place” icon on the home page. Type in your house number and street address and the Web site will display the precinct you live in and where your polling place is located.
Q: What hours are the polls open on Election Day?
Most polling places in Douglas County are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. The exceptions are Lund Township, which will open at 9 a.m. and Solem Township, which will open at 10 a.m. All voting places close at 8 p.m. If there are people waiting in line at the time, they will have a chance to cast their ballot and won’t be turned away.
Q: I am unable to go to my polling place on Election Day, how can I still vote?
A: You can obtain an absentee ballot from the Douglas County Auditor’s Office. Normal office hours are from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Extended hours for the purpose of absentee voting are Saturday, November 1 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and on Monday, November 3 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Q: I am not a registered voter in my precinct, can I still vote on Election Day?
A: Minnesota law does allow for Election Day registration. For a complete list of acceptable forms of identification, visit the Secretary of State Web site at www.sos.state.mn.us.
Q: Where can I find a sample ballot for my precinct?
A: To see a sample ballot, log onto the Secretary of State Web site, www.sos.state.mn.us, and click on the “Where do I vote” icon. From there, type in your house number and street address of where you live; not only will you find out what precinct you live in, but you will be able to view a sample ballot specific to your area.
Q: If I do not vote for all the offices on the ballot, will my ballot still count?
A: If you do not want to vote for a particular office on the ballot, you can leave it blank and your other votes will still count.
Q: What legislative or county commissioner district do I live in?
A: Again, you can either log onto the Secretary of State’s Web site or call the auditor’s office at (320) 762-3077.
Q: Where can I find candidate information?
A: Online at the Secretary of State’s Web site. For local candidate information, check out the Echo Press Voter Guide, which was inserted in the Wednesday, October 29 newspaper or access the guide online at www.echopress.com.
Q: Where are the local DFL and Republican headquarters?
The local DFL office is located on 6th Avenue, two blocks east of Broadway, at the intersection with Irving. The local Republican office is located across the highway from the Alexandria Fire Department in what is known as the Tischer Building, which is on 3rd Avenue.
Q: Where can I view election results as they are reported on election night?
A: Election results are reported on the Secretary of State’s Web site, but will remain unofficial until the state board of canvass approves them. Local results will be published on the Echo Press Web site as they come in. You can view them at www.echopress.com. Remember to refresh your browser to get the most up-to-date results.
Here’s a one-stop resource for local election results – www.echopress.com.
The Echo Press will report the results online as the votes are tabulated election night. The newspaper will report the following “Top 10” election outcomes:
Alexandria City Council Ward 3
Alexandria City Council Ward 5
Douglas County Board of Commissioners District 1
Douglas County Board of Commissioners District 3
Todd County Board of Commissioners, District 5
State Representative, District 11A
State Representative, District 11B
U.S. Representative, District 7
Minnesota Constitutional Amendment (clean water)