Brenda Wade Schmidt
Flandreau city officials are encouraging voters to complete absentee ballots by mail for next month’s mayor and Ward 1 alderman election next month because of the COVID-19 virus threat.
Absentee voting, which began Monday, would allow for less contact between citizens at the polls, said Karen Guldvaldson, city finance officer. Using the mail to obtain a ballot and return it will help people avoid others.
Flandreau will continue to plan on holding the April 14 election. At this point, state law doesn’t allow for elections to be postponed, except in the case of bad weather, she said.
Applications are available at the city office, the drive-up window at First National Bank Flandreau branch and through the link at https://sdsos.gov/…/a…/AbsenteeBallotApplicationFillable.pdf. Applications can be returned, along with a photocopy of a photo ID, to the city finance officer by mail or by using one of the drop boxes located at the police station at 136 E. Second Ave. or at the city office at 1005 W. Elm Ave.
Once the city receives a ballot application and copy of the required identification, the ballot will be mailed with an envelope in which to return the ballot to the finance officer. Voters may return completed ballots through the mail or by using one of the drop boxes.
Absentee voting also is available at the city office, but city officials encourage residents use the mail process instead, if they can.
On the ballot, Dan Sutton and Emily Firman Pieper are running for mayor. In Ward 1, incumbent Don Whitman, and challengers Mark Ekern and Jeff Wiegel are vying for a seat.
The deadline to register to vote is March 30. Registration may be completed during regular business hours through the Moody County auditor’s office, the city finance office, Secretary of State’s office and those locations which provide driver’s licenses, SNAP, TANF, WIC, military recruitment, and assistance to the disabled as provided by the Department of Human Services. To request a mail-in registration form call the county auditor at 997-3161or access a mail-in form at www.sdsos.gov.