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School bond ballots must be returned by February 20

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Several hundred ballots for the USD 109/Republic County school bond election have already been returned to the Republic County Clerk’s office early this week. Voters are being asked to decide on a $16 million bond issue to make improvements to the school buildings.

The clerk mailed 2,522 ballots to registered voters on January 31, and the ballots must be returned by noon on February 20 to be counted in the election. Republic County Clerk Kathleen Marsicek said about 75 ballots were returned as undeliverable, including people who moved and didn’t notify the clerk’s office, and people who winter in other areas. Marsicek said if someone believes they are a registered voter and did not receive a ballot, they should contact the clerk’s office before February 13.

Marsicek said some ballots have also been returned without the required signature on the back of the envelope. The clerk’s office will attempt to contact those voters once to see if they would like to sign the ballot; otherwise, it will be declared void and not counted. The clerk’s staff compares the signature with voter records to verify the voter registered signed the ballot. The envelopes and ballots are separated before counting.

A small counting board will convene to run ballots through the counting machines at noon on February 20, a process Marsicek estimated will only take a few hours. She said an 18-year-old Republic County High School student will be invited to serve on the counting board.