Primary absentee election underway; some voters may be missing reverse side of ballot, with Otter Tail County Board

By Louis Hoglund

The primary election is less than two weeks away, and voters in the West Otter Tail Lakes will have a more engaging ballot than the typical primary. 

Absentee voting is already underway, and the Press has received a few unconfirmed reports that early voters from West Otter Tail may be overlooking the “reverse” side of the ballot. 

On the front, the political party voting includes governor, U.S. House of Representatives, and the contested State Senate District 9 seat—which includes the names of Republican-endorsed candidate Jordan Rasmusson and challenger Nathan Miller. 

But Pelican lakes area voters need to flip the ballot to find the five-way contest for Otter Tail County Board District 2. 

Otter Tail County Auditor Wayne Stein said that all precinct county election officials are verbally instructing voters about the two-sided ballot. Also, it is printed clearly on the ballot that there is a reverse side. Possibly, the issue could be with those voters who have requested ballots be mailed, and they are overlooking the instructions, acknowledged Stein. 

Running for the Otter Tail District 2 seat are David Helgerson, Jeffrey Mark Gontorek, Tammy S. Ziegler, Wayne Donald Johnson, and Dean E. Anderson. 

The top two voters for this West Otter Tail area county board seat will continue on to the November general election. 

Primary voting at Otter Tail precincts will be 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at most sites on August 9. 

But the Press was notified by Erhards Grove Township clerk that the precinct will be open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. This later-morning schedule was not included in the Otter Tail County-wide Primary Election notice. Auditor Stein said that the Township evidently had not notified the county of the later start time. 

Several townships in the greater Pelican area will be open later, at the 10 a.m. time for the primary election, in addition to Erhards Grove. 

These include: 

• Norwegian Grove 

• Trondhjem 

• Amor 

• Maplewood 

• Oscar

• Star Lake 

• A special video has been posted by auditor Wayne Stein on the Otter Tail County website, explaining the primary ballot.
• You can view the video on the county website here or click on the image above to view it on our Election 2022 page.

Other precincts in the area, such as Lida, Dunn, Pelican, Scambler, Dora; and the cities of Erhard, Elizabeth, Vergas, Dent, and Pelican Rapids, will be open for voting August 9 at the traditional schedule of 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. 

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