Thirty – two counties in North Dakota vote by mail, and now Dunn County is joining in.
Dunn County’s voting machines need a reboot.
“They are obsolete. . . basically,” said Donna Scott, Dunn County Commissioner.
The cost of purchasing new ones for its twelve voting precincts would be costly.
“It would be tens of thousands of dollars,” said Tracey Dolezal, Dunn County auditor and treasurer.
Dunn County has used the same voting machines for the past fifteen years.
Rather than buy new machines the county commission feels it would be a lot easier to use voting by mail, with 25 – percent of the county using absentee voting over the past few years.
“Voters are saying that they like the idea of coming in and voting early and not having to wait in line, and they like the idea of having time to look over the ballot,” said Dolezal.
The Dunn County Commission unanimously approved voting by mail back in February.
“Its convenient. The ballots are delivered and counted with the rest, and it saves the county tons of money,” said Reinhard Hauck, Dunn County Commissioner.
Dolezal also said voting by mail will save the county tons of headaches when it comes to labor.
“It is getting more and more difficult to get election workers. People are busy . . . have jobs”.
In the past, Dunn County had ten voting locations, but they are going to keep a couple open for those that like the idea of going to the polls on election day.
“Here at the courthouse in Manning, and we will have a voting center set up in Twin Buttes,” said Dolezal.
Applications for voting by mail will be sent out in May, but people will have to buy a stamp before they cast their vote.
“It is less expensive for the tax payers of Dunn County. To me voting is a privilege. As a result if I have to pay for a stamp that’s fine,” said Scott
Dunn County has about 2,400 eligible voters, and six county positions are up for election on this years ballot.