Herald JournalHerald Journal, Jan. 5, 2004

Newman wins seat in House of Reps.

By Ryan Gueningsman

Thirteen percent of eligible voters in District 18A showed up Tuesday and voted Republican Scott Newman into the Minnesota House of Representatives to fill the remainder of former Rep. Tony Kielkucki's term.

The 13 percent is almost double the amount of voters who showed up for the primary election Dec. 16.

Of the 2,877 votes cast, Newman received 1,861, DFL candidate Lowell Ueland received 1,006, and there were 10 write-ins.

Newman was elected, receiving 65 percent of the vote, compared to Ueland's 35 percent. There were also 10 write-in votes, according to the Minnesota Secretary of State's office.

The City of Winsted had 124 votes cast; 91 of them being for Newman, and 33 for Ueland. Lester Prairie had 83 votes cast, with 56 being for Newman, and 27 for Ueland.

Bergen Township had 75 people vote, with Newman garnering 55 votes to Ueland's 20.

Winsted Township had 80 voters show up at the polls, with 48 voting for Newman and 32 voting for Ueland.

Special election costs taxpayers money

With Tuesday's special election, and a primary election several weeks ago, the question arises of the costs of these elections ­ and who is paying for them?

Each individual city or township is responsible for paying for the election costs, according to McLeod County Auditor Cindy Schultz.

For these two elections, it will cost approximately just more than $1,000, according to Lester Prairie City Clerk Marilyn Pawelk. Those costs are for the election judges, as well as mileage to pick up and return ballots.

For the City of Winsted, the cost will be about $2,800, according to City Clerk Betty Zachmann. The costs stem from election judges, mileage, extra clerk hours, and the maintenance department putting up and taking down the polling booths.

"The cost will have to come out of the general fund and get absorbed some place," Zachmann said. She noted that something else will have to be cut to balance everything out, though she is unsure at this time what that may be.

Zachmann also noted a problem that cities will encounter is that because the election is so close to the end of the year, it won't show up until 2004.

The county auditor's office takes care of printing the absentee and regular ballots, Schultz said.

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