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County commissioner special general election reminders

By Scott Felten

Mower County Auditor/Treasurer

The Special General Election for the Mower County District 1 County Commissioner vacancy will be held on Tuesday, April 13, 2021.

Absentee voting is available now through Monday, April 12, for the special general election at the Auditor-Treasurer’s office in the Mower County Government Center located at 201 First St. NE in Austin. Regular office hours are Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 

The Auditor-Treasurer’s office will also be open for absentee voting 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 10 and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Monday, April 12.

As Election Day is fast approaching, any voter wanting to absentee vote is encouraged to do so in-person at the Auditor-Treasurer’s office, rather than through the mail. Since an absentee ballot application must first be submitted before an absentee ballot can be issued, there may not be enough time to complete the absentee voting process through the mail to ensure that the ballot is received by the Auditor-Treasurer’s office in time to be counted. The deadline to return a completed absentee ballot is 3 p.m. on Tuesday, April 13.

Who Can Vote in the Special Election?

Only voters living in Commissioner District 1 will vote in the special election. District 1 includes the townships of Lansing, Red Rock, Udolpho, and Waltham; and also includes the cities of Brownsdale, Mapleview, Waltham, and the First Ward, First Precinct of the City of Austin. 

Where to Vote?

On Election Day, Tuesday, April 13, voting hours will be from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the polling places:

• City of Austin voters in Ward 1, Precinct 1 will vote at Austin City Hall.

• City of Brownsdale voters and Red Rock Township voters will vote at the Brownsdale Fire Hall. 

• City of Waltham voters will vote at the Waltham Area Government Center.

• Lansing Township voters will vote at the Lansing Township Hall.

• The City of Mapleview, Udolpho Township, and Waltham Township are mail ballot precincts and registered voters in those precincts have had ballots mailed to them already. Mail ballots can be mailed back to the Auditor-Treasurer’s office, or dropped off in-person at the office, or the voter can come to the Auditor-Treasurer’s office to vote in-person.  The deadline for voters in these mail ballot precincts to return their ballot is 8 p.m., on Tuesday, April 13.

Other Voting Reminders

Absentee ballots and mail ballots once again require a witness to sign the voter’s signature envelope. The witness requirement was waived only for 2020 elections due to COVID-19.

Only voters in mail ballot precincts can vote in-person at the Auditor-Treasurer’s office on Election Day, Tuesday, April 13, 2021.

For questions or more information, please contact the Mower County Auditor-Treasurer’s Office at 507-437-9535, or email elections@co.mower.mn.us.

The position’s vacancy occurred when Commissioner Tim Gabrielson passed away on Nov. 10, 2020 and the County Board approved holding a special election to fill the vacancy on Nov. 24.  Seven individuals filed for the office so a special primary election was held on Feb. 9, 2021, to decide the two who won run for the position — Tim Duren and John Mueller.