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11/19/2012 7:13:00 PM
City council, school board finalize elections

By David Richards

The members of Byron's city council and school board approved resolutions last week to the accept the results of the Nov. 6 local election.

For the city, mayor Ann Diercks was voted into a second, four-year term with 1,698 votes, while challenger David Sletten received 703 votes. There were 15 write-in votes. For the two council seats, Incumbent Bob Meyer and newcomer Matt Brekke both ran unopposed and received 1,657 and 1,609 votes respectively. There were 90 write-in votes.

For school board, six candidates ran for four, four-year terms. Incumbents Matt Prigge, Peggy Morris and Chris Douglas were all re-elected, while Tessa Olive was elected as well.

Prigge received 2,518 votes; Morris received 1,942; Douglas received 1,935; Olive received 1,711; while Allan Jorgensen received 1,470; and Barb Rutgers received 1,329. There were 71 write in votes.

City administrator Mary Blair-Hoeft said the election went well overall, with the exception of the large traffic times right before work and right after work.

"I just felt people waited in line longer than I would have liked them to," Blair-Hoeft said. "We had 492 voters either register or re-register on election day alone."

The ballots are each sent through a single counting machine, which then divides them by ballots with no write-in votes and ballots with write-in votes. Election judges then have to manually count each write-in vote following the election.

At the end of the night, the voting machine spits out a long slip of paper, similar to a receipt from a cash register, that has the results printed on it. The paper ballots are then sealed, dated and signed by election judges and taken to the county's election office that same night along with the slip of paper detailing the results.

"It's a pretty amazing machine," Blair-Hoeft said, of the voting instrument in place in Byron.

Turnout in the city of Byron alone was roughly 88 percent, with 2,586 out of 2,939 registered voters taking part. Turnout in Olmsted County surpassed 93 percent.

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