Posted 6/01/16 (Wed)
By Amy Robinson
Farmer Staff Writer
McKenzie County voters will be asked to decide on who they want to serve on their city councils, park boards, and school boards in the June 14 election. In addition, they will be voting for county and statewide candidates.
Watford City city residents will vote at city hall, while those people living in the Ideal and Shafer precincts, which surround the city, but haven’t been annexed into the city limits, will vote at the county courthouse.
“Not only is this election for county and state offices, this is also the city and school elections,” explained Linda Svihovec, McKenzie County auditor. “This is the only option to vote for these local offices. It’s important for people to come out and vote on June 14.”
Svihovec says this is the Primary Election and the county and state candidates move forward to the General Election in November.
“Voters can only vote one party at the Primary, so they don’t have to vote for every race. But they do have to stick with the same political party,” explained Svihovec. “Voters can’t cross-over vote. For example, they can’t go down the ballot and vote Republican for one, then Democrat the next. That’s not allowed and that is something unique about our voting here.”
Svihovec says the Legislature hasn’t made a lot of changes to the ID requirements, but they have reinforced the requirement to have a current North Dakota ID with current address.
Valid forms of ID include a current Driver’s License or a Non-Driver’s License ID, a Tribal Government-issued ID, or a Long-term Care Certificate, which is only issued by the care center. And the ID has to show a date of birth as well as a current residential address.
For voters that do not have their current address on a valid form of ID, they can visit the Secretary of State’s website or the Department of Transportation’s website, says Svihovec.
“Issues that might come up at a polling place with IDs could be if the individual lived in a different town in the state of North Dakota and hasn’t updated their address. In those cases, they won’t be able to vote at a McKenzie County voting poll,” explained Svihovec. “They’ll need to get the process started to update their address. Our goal is to have people be able to vote. It’s important to me for people to have the right to vote.”
“If anyone has any questions, they are welcome to call me or go on the Secretary of State’s website,” said Svihovec. “If they put in their address, it will tell them exactly where to vote.”
Svihovec says the county’s website also has all the links voters might need to access voting information. McKenzie County website users will be able to get an absentee ballot there, find out where they can vote, obtain voter ID requirements, and eventually view election results.
Svihovec says that the polls will open on June 14, at 9 a.m. and close at 7 p.m., local time. Make sure to pay attention to the time zone because McKenzie County has a couple precincts in Mountain Time as well as Central Time.
Absentee Ballots are available now, says Svihovec. Voters can mail in an Absentee Ballot application, but all Absentee Ballots have to be postmarked or delivered to the county auditor’s office by June 13, or then go to a polling site on June 14.
“There’s a couple options,” says Svihovec. “We also have Agent Authorization Forms, for someone else to be able to bring a ballot to them, then the voter can fill it out and send it in. A person can only act as an agent for four people. For example, those people can be someone in the nursing home or maybe a college student who is home for the weekend who still has a McKenzie County address.”
Svihovec reminds people to not hesitate to call and ask questions. She says they want people to have the opportunity to vote, and if they don’t have a McKenzie County ID, they can help with that too.
2016 City and School Election Candidates
Voters in Alexander will be asked to choose between Jerry Hatter, Kenneth Willcox, and Jeff Whitehurst for mayor, while Terrille Jacobson and Richard Modine are running for two seats on the city council.
Running for one seat on the Alexander Park Board is Luke Holen, Jamie Modine, and Sarah Rosco.
In a special measure, Alexander voters will be asked to approve or deny a measure that would reduce the number of park board members from five to three.
City of Arnegard
Arnegard voters will be asked to choose between Whitney Tamez, Jashua Moody, and Timothy Pickering Jr. for two seats on the city council, while Karen Hagen is running for the open seat on the Arnegard Park Board.
The city council race, which will have six candidates seeking three seats will be the most contested for Watford City residents. Seeking the three open seats on the council are Gregg Schuetze, Stephanie Corn, Lindsay Veeder Wingerter, Matthew Beard, Charles “Chas” Neff Jr., Bethany Mulder Devlin, and Kenny Liebel.
Running for the two open seats on the Watford City Park Board are William “Billy” Carlson and LeAnne Voll.
School District Elections
Alexander Public School District No. 2
Three candidates, Jeremy Heen, Tim Nelson and Darcy Delaney are running for three seats on the Alexander School Board.
McKenzie County Public School District No. 1
School district patrons will be asked to fill three seats on the McKenzie County Public School District No. 1 School Board.
Running for one seat representing Area 1 is Lance Madsen, Dawn Maki, and Paul Lehto, while Shannon Faller, Virginia Ceynar, and Carla Schwartzenberger are seeking to fill the one seat representing Areas 2 and 3. Running unopposed to represent Areas 4 & 5 is Bradley Sanford, while Heather Wisness is running unopposed for Area 6.
Yellowstone School District No. 14
Running for the two open seats on the Yellowstone School District No. 14 School Board is Jessica Cayko and Jason P. Rau.
Publishing of School Board and City Council Minutes
In the June 14 election, voters of Arnegard, Alexander and Watford City will also be asked to approve or deny measures that require city government to publish their meeting minutes in the official city newspaper for the next four years.
Voters in the three school districts in McKenzie County will also be asked to approve or deny the publishing of a record of their school board meetings in the district’s official newspaper.
Copies of the June 14 ballots are published in this week’s issue of the McKenzie County Farmer.