Officials in Brown County are learning from Sioux Falls and other places to help their next election run well.
The county will use the vote center format for the first time in the June primary. Voters registered in the county will be able to vote at any of the county’s 11 vote centers regardless of where they live.
Come election time in Aberdeen, Brown County auditor Maxine Fischer wants a smooth process. So when voters were casting ballots and waiting to see who won the Sioux Falls mayor race, Fischer was paying just as much attention to the vote center format used in the election.
"This has been tested several times in the past two years, two and a half years. And each time the system goes smoother. We hope we don't have any glitches, but you never know," Fischer said.
Fisher says Brown County is testing and retesting equipment and election officials made flyers to educate Brown County voters.
In Aberdeen, there will be three voting centers. One will be centrally located at the courthouse. Another will sit on the east side of town at the Ramada. The Ramkota will house one on the west side of town.
The other eight are in rural Brown County communities, including Stratford. That's where Lloyd Jark is from, but he moved to Sioux Falls ten years ago. Having used the vote centers in Sioux Falls, he's sure they'll also work well in his home county.
"I think it'll be convenient for people that work in Aberdeen. Don't have to hurry home to say Hecla area, which is over an hour drive from Aberdeen," Jark said.
Fischer says she'll take steps to keep the centers from running out of ballots, especially remote ones.
"We'll go heavy on the ballot stock these first couple elections, just see what the trend is," Fischer said.