by Dennis Dalman
Applications for absentee ballots for the Nov. 4 general election can be obtained through the Stearns County Administration Center.
The ballots can be had in person, via fax or through postal mail.
Absentee ballots allow people to vote, by mail or in person, before an official election date if those people cannot make it to the polls on that date for whatever reason. Some, for example, are confined to home because of illness while others will be out of town that day.
People who live in Stearns County may cast their absentee ballots in person at the Auditor-Treasurer Office in the Stearns County Administration Center, Room 148, 705 Courthouse Square in downtown St. Cloud. The hours are 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.
Those who live in the western half of Stearns County may find it more convenient to cast absentee ballots at the clerk’s office in Melrose, which has been designated as an alternate location. The office, at 225 East 1st St. N., is open from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday. The clerk’s number is 320-256-4278.
For those who want to get an absentee ballot by mail or have one faxed, they can obtain an absentee-ballot application online or by calling to request one. The easy-to-fill-out application can then be returned via mail, by fax or in person, and an absentee ballot will be given or sent to the applicant.
Here is how to get an absentee-ballot application:
If living in Stearns County, go online to www.co.stearns.mn.us/Government/Elections/AbsenteeVoting. Then, scroll down under “Absentee Ballot Process” to “Absentee Ballot Application” printed in light blue. Click on that. You will see an application that can then be downloaded, filled out and mailed. You can also call the government administrative center to have one sent to your home. The number to call is 320-656-3920.