Minot Public School bond vote

Some 250 people had voted early as of Tuesday afternoon in the $125 million Minot Public School bond issue election.

The bond issue election will be held Dec. 10, but early voting in the Ex-Servicemen’s Room at the Ward County Courthouse is taking place through Thursday this week. Voting hours each day are from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Voters will not be required to go through security at the courthouse.

Devra Smestad, Ward County auditor and treasurer, said the early turnout is comparable with other elections, though more people are likely to vote early during a presidential election.

“Over 120 the first day was not bad,” she said Tuesday afternoon, and the number of voters Tuesday was likely to meet or exceed that number.

The county hired election workers to run the early election. All are experienced election workers, she said. Ballots cast early are locked in a suitcase at the end of voting each day and kept secured. The ballots won’t be counted until the day of the election on Dec. 10.

Smestad said state law now requires that voters present an ID with a current address as proof of residence. Smestad said officials will attend a state workshop in a couple of weeks to discuss how to implement parts of the new law, such as how to handle homeless people who exercise their voting rights. In the past, Smestad said such people have been able to list the courthouse address as a residence and are eligible to vote if they can prove they are habitual residents of the district.

Smestad said she would suggest that people who want to vote bring along a utility bill that is at least 30 days old if their current address doesn’t match the address on their driver’s license or other photo ID. People who live in the Minot Public School District are eligible to vote in the bond issue election. If people are not sure if they reside in the school district, they can call the auditor’s office and ask Smestad or her staff to look up the address.

Polling places for the bond issue election on Dec. 10 include Bel Air, Bell, Edison, Lewis and Clark, Longfellow, McKinley, Perkett, Sunnyside and Washington Elementaries and Jim Hill and Erik Ramstad Middle Schools. Eligible voters can vote at any of the polling places.