Election talk dominates county board meeting

Voting was the talk of the Lyon County Board meeting as election official and Auditor/Treasurer E.J. Moberg gave an update to the commissioners on how the voting process has changed due to COVID-19.
Experts expect to see record-breaking numbers for voter turnout this year, and Lyon County is proving that to be true, he said.
“Ballots are out. We’ve turned over 7,000 ballots already for the election and we have about 14,000 registered voters in Lyon County, so about half the population has requested one,” said Moberg. “As of yesterday (Oct. 5), we have already received back 905. Just for a perspective, the previous time we’ve done the processing of absentee and mail ballots was 2018’s general election which had 3,047 accepted. We are going to double that as far as what’s out there. Our history shows over 90% voter turnout for past presidential elections.”
The pre-COVID era allowed election officials seven days to process mail-in or absentee ballots, but a pandemic changed that number because of a large number of absentee ballots requested.
“A law has been passed to allow 14 days before the election to start processing,” said Moberg. “Wednesday, October 21, is when we can start to process those, which we’re going to need to do because we’re not going to get through thousands of ballots in one day. We won’t have the results until after 8 p.m. on election night.”
Board Chairman Gary Crowley was curious about voter fraud, and those concerns seemed to be put to rest after Moberg’s response.
“I have never seen someone vote twice, it’s a felony in Minnesota,” Moberg said. “States communicate with each other, especially on driver’s license changes, and you can get caught after-the-fact. If you request a ballot and lose it and request a second, the first one has been canceled. Just don’t try to vote twice.”
“It’s hard enough to vote the first time,” Crowley said.
The last day to pre-register for the election is Tuesday, Oct. 13.
In other news, the Board:
• Approved the reappointment of Francis Engels, Janice Moen, and J. Brent Feikema to an additional four-year term on the Lincoln, Pipestone Water Board.
• Approved a Minnesota Lawful Gambling Permit application by Soul Acres at 1570 State Highway 19, Lynd, Island Lake Township.
• Approved the LEC improvement of electrical and floor tile for Amiret.
• Approved a Lakeside Cemetery Association funding for a project to fix the lakeshore erosion problem affecting the cemetery.
• Authorized the purchase of nine OmniBallot tablets to be used as assistive voting devices after the 2020 elections.
• Approved Change Order 2 from Rachel Contracting for $18,000
• Allowing Environmental Administrator to receive quotes for landfill waste moving to cover new cell liner.
• Approved Lyon County COVID Telecommuting Policy
• Approved the hiring of Amanda Stattelman as Assistant Tech II hire at the landfill. This is a pay grade six position with a starting wage of $19.80 an hour with an approximate start date of October 26.

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