The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

August 5, 2012

Polling places changing

MANKATO — If you tossed that voter registration card in the trash a few days back thinking you already knew where you vote, it might be worth checking again.

Redistricting required the redrawing of precinct lines in Mankato and North Mankato, meaning some people will be voting in different places.

Voters in Mankato’s North End neighborhood, for example, are used to casting their ballots in Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, at 1103 N. Broad St.

They will now be traveling to the Minnesota National Guard Armory, at 100 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

The longer trip is partly a result of the redrawing of boundaries for the state House of Representatives seats 19A and 19B. The line now extends along Riverfront Drive, turning at Highway 14.

This means the voters on the north and west side of Riverfront Drive will need their own ballot, and their own place to cast it.

But there is no good place for them to vote in their precinct, said Patty O’Connor, who leads elections for Blue Earth County. So they’ll be voting in Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, giving North End voters a bit of a longer drive.

“It’s a little less convenient from where we went in the past,” said John Considine, president of the Tourtellotte Park Neighborhood Association.

But he said the Armory is a well-known location, and he hasn’t heard any complaints about the move from neighbors.

Mankato has dropped from 19 voting locations to 14. The Intergovernmental Center was among those polling places removed from the list, in this case because parking is relatively poor.

O’Connor said dropping locations saves money because it requires fewer trained election officials and less of the costly voting equipment.

If you didn’t get that little card in the mail, by the way, it’s because you aren’t registered to vote at your current address.

North Mankato has gone from eight polling places to seven, City Clerk Nancy Gehrke said. They are also changing the precinct numbering system from 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, etc., to a 1-7 number.

Voters in Blue Earth County’s smaller cities will vote in the same places, as will St. Peter voters.

The primary is Aug. 14.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News