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Stutsman voter turnout low compared to 2018 primary election

The primary election was held Tuesday, June 14.

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After marking the ballot, voters take them to a counting machine on Tuesday, June 14, at the Jamestown Civic Center.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun
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JAMESTOWN – Significantly fewer voters in Stutsman County cast ballots Tuesday, June 14, than in the most recent nonpresidential primary in 2018, according to the election results from the North Dakota Secretary of State.

Unofficial election results showed a total of 1,733 total ballots cast out of 18,179 eligible voters Tuesday in Stutsman County. In the 2018 primary election, a total of 3,528 ballots were cast with 16,810 eligible voters.

A total of 4,109 ballots were cast with 16,823 eligible voters in the 2014 primary election.

Jessica Alonge, Stutsman County auditor/chief operating officer, said this year’s primary election being a nonpresidential one affected the turnout.

“It was a lot lower than we expected because our early vote totals were low, our absentee totals were low,” she said. “We thought we would see more people come through.”

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Alonge said 175 of the 205 absentee ballots sent out were returned. Stutsman County had 277 early voters.

Vote totals are unofficial until the Stutsman County Canvassing Board meets at 10 a.m. June 27. The board will review ballots.

Issues that the canvassing board will need to consider include verifying the signatures of six absentee ballots, Alonge said. Stutsman County also received two set-aside ballots where two voters will need to provide proper identification before the canvassing board meets.

She said one voter filled out a ballot but decided not to cast the ballot by putting it into a voting machine.

“We will take that to the canvassing board just because we want them to say we are not counting it,” she said.

Masaki Ova joined The Jamestown Sun in August 2021 as a reporter. He grew up on a farm near Pingree, N.D. He majored in communications at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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