Approval recommended to reduce number of voting precincts in Jamestown
Reducing the number of precincts would reduce the risk of error in giving a voter an incorrect ballot, official says.
JAMESTOWN — The Jamestown City Council unanimously recommended approval to the Stutsman County Commission of a request from Jessica Alonge, Stutsman County auditor/chief operating officer, to reduce the number of precincts within city limits from six to two.
Mayor Dwaine Heinrich said on Monday, May 1, that the city used to have six precincts and voters would go to different polling locations in Jamestown. Now, the polling location for city residents is at the Jamestown Civic Civic Center.
In an email to City Administrator Sarah Hellekson, Alonge wrote that there would be no change in the number of ballots, but few judges could potentially be needed for future elections, “which would reduce Stutsman County’s election budget some.”
“It would make election training more straight forward and eliminate confusion for the judges at the polling place,” Alonge wrote. “It would also reduce the risk of error in giving voters the incorrect ballot. Currently the contests and candidates being voted on are exactly the same for five of the six ballot styles we have for the city.”
Heinrich said he was struggling to find a reason to oppose the request. Councilman David Steele agreed.
“I don’t see the downside to this,” Steele said. “I don’t think it really affects the city so much.”
In other business, the City Council unanimously approved:
- the appointment of Olivia Johnson to serve as a member of the forestry committee. Johnson will fill a three-year term that expires in April 2026.
- an ordinance to amend the district map to change the zoning for property the city of Jamestown owns at 101 and 107 2nd Ave. SE from a general commercial district to a central core commercial district. In April, the Jamestown Finance and Legal Committee recommended approval of a sales agreement between the city of Jamestown and Stride Development for the land as negotiated by City Attorney Leo Ryan and Stride Development’s attorney. A sales agreement has not happened as Ryan has not received an agreement back from Stride Development’s attorney. The Jamestown Sun previously reported that Stride Development intends to redevelop property that will include street-level main-floor uses and housing that includes affordable rental units and for-purchase condominium units on the top floor. Permitted uses for a central core commercial district include retail establishments, restaurants, office space, repair shops, other miscellaneous business, multi-family development and vertical mixed-use development with residential on the upper floors and commercial on the ground floor.