Ritchie expressed his appreciation to township officials for their part in keeping the state running smoothly.
“Thank you for keeping rural America strong,” he said.
Secretary of State Mark Ritchie was the featured speaker at the quarterly meeting of the Sherburne County Association of Townships. The event was held at Livonia Town Hall on Wednesday, Oct. 16.
Ritchie encouraged the township officials to work to keep Minnesota the No. 1-ranked state in voter turnout.
“Our high voter participation will only be maintained if we make sure our young people become lifelong voters.”
One way local officials could do this is to encourage teens to become election judges. Students ages 16 to 18 can serve as election judges.
“They get paid and get out of school. It’s hard to beat that,” he said.
Some changes are coming to the election process, Ritchie said. The process will look the same for a majority of voters, but there have been significant changes to the absentee voting process. Minnesota now has “no excuse” absentee voting. That means that if it makes sense for you to vote early or to vote through the mail, you may. You no longer have to state a reason for voting absentee.
Voters will be able to electronically track their absentee ballot as it moves through the system. Voters can also check online to see if their voter registration information is up-to-date and can make needed changes over a secure and encrypted website. The public is encouraged to find out if they are registered to vote and make any necessary changes at mnvote.org.
Since the counties bear the brunt of election expenses, Ritchie said his department has sought ways to save money and improve efficiencies at the county level.
We are always trying to find out what counties and townships want and need and are trying to meet those needs, he said.