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Mellette County Down To One Voting Precinct

September 25, 2008, 9:49 PM by Karla Ramaekers

Mellette County Down To One Voting Precinct
This week marked the start of early voting in South Dakota.  Precincts across the state opened on Tuesday.  But due to budget cuts, voters in Mellette County won't have a choice of where to go to cast their ballots this year. 

Officials in Mellette County made extensive budget cuts this year, letting personnel, programs, and precincts go to protect their bottom line.  That means when voters cast their ballots this year, they'll need to travel to White River, where four precincts have been combined to one central location. 

"Instead of driving and traveling to the outer precincts, we're combining the Norris precinct with the Central precinct that votes in White River and the Wood precinct with the White River precinct that votes in White River so that we don't have to travel and haul that equipment that day back to Norris and Wood," Casey Krogman says.

Chairman Casey Krogman says this will save the county around $1,000.  On the other hand, that means some voters will travel more than forty extra miles to cast a vote.  Krogman admits it might be difficult for some voters to make it to White River since Mellette is such a spread-out county. That's why he's encouraging people to vote early by using an absentee ballot. 

"We have absentee voting set up here in White River right now, it's ready to go, so if anybody from those communities are in the area or in White River they're welcome to come vote right now," Krogman says.

Voters can also contact the County Auditor to request an absentee ballot be sent to their home-- eliminating the need to drive to a precinct at all.  Krogman says no matter how the votes are tallied, what's more important is that the votes are cast. 

"Oh it's very important I hope everybody votes," Krogman says.

He's hoping citizens look past the inconvenience and focus on the future of the country and the county.

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