Rhonda Silence

Auditors office working to get mail ballots out, offers absentee option for city voters

At the end of June, Cook County Auditor Braidy Powers told WTIP that mail ballots for the August 11 primarily will likely go out Tuesday, July 7, or within a day or two of that date. They should arrive in mailboxes or PO boxes later this week.

This means the ballot will be sent out more than a month before the official primary election day. That being the case, Powers reminds local voters that you don’t have to send the ballot back right away–but he advises everyone to put those ballots in a safe place, as there is a limited number of replacement ballots.

Because of precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic, Powers encourages voters to mail their ballots back or drop them in the secure lockbox at the courthouse doors instead of hand-carrying them to the courthouse. Registered voters who do not receive their mail ballot by July 17 should contact the auditor’s office at 218-387-3640.

Likewise, voters in the City of Grand Marais who normally go to the polls for elections, are encouraged to request an absentee ballot. Powers said for this year only, due to the pandemic, city voters may request absentee ballots to mail in to avoid having to stand in line in a public place. Powers said the polls will be open, but due to the pandemic, voting in person will likely be considerably slower. Anyone with questions about absentee ballots may contact the auditor’s office at 218-387-3640.

WTIP Community Radio encourages voters to hold onto their ballots until after our upcoming WTIP election forums. WTIP is reaching out to all of the candidates for the Cook County board and will be giving voters a chance to hear directly from those citizens vying for a county commissioner seat.

This year’s county commissioner primary forums on WTIP will be as follows:

District Two on Wednesday, July 22 – the candidates in District 2 are incumbent Myron Bursheim, Stacey Hawkins and Jaye White.

District Four on Thursday, July 23 – Candidates in District 4 are Dean Berglund, Charles Christiansen, Ann Sullivan and Steve Watson. (Incumbent Heidi Doo-Kirk did not file for reelection.)

The forums will begin at 7 p.m. each night.

Due to the ongoing health pandemic, WTIP’s traditional candidate primary forums will be held in a different format this year. The primary forums will be live on WTIP July 22 and 23, with participants joining via a Zoom conference call. The candidate forum will still include interaction with WTIP listeners, and calls can come in during the live broadcasts.

WTIP’s Rhonda Silence spoke with Auditor Braidy Powers about mail ballots, absentee ballots and more. Here’s their conversation.